Breivik still poses a danger of ‘unbridled violence’

Henry

The Norwegian government says Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011, is still at risk of “unbridled violence”.

Breivik sued this government over the conditions under which he is being held in prison.

The state prosecutor, Andreas Hjetland, told the court that even 12 years after the horrific attacks, Breivik is still at risk of committing extreme violence.

“Breivik is still the same kind of danger (to society) today as he was in July 2011,” Hjetland said, referring to the assessments carried out by psychiatrists and prison guards.

“His ideology remains the same, his penchant for violence is clear and his personality … further strengthens all these factors,” he said.

Breivik (44) has been held separately from other prisoners in a high-security prison for the past 11 years after he killed eight people and then another 69 people, most of whom were teenagers.

He argues that his prolonged isolation is a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits “inhuman” and “degrading” treatment.

In 2012, Breivik was sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison, which can be extended as long as he poses a threat to society.

Referring to another provision in the Convention on Human Rights regarding the right to correspondence, Breivik asked in court documents that the restrictions that apply to the letters he writes to those outside the prison be relaxed.

The court case, which began on Monday, is being held for security reasons in the gymnasium of the Ringerike prison where Breivik is serving his sentence.

Breivik has previously taken the Norwegian authorities to court over the same issues. An Oslo District Court ruled in 2016 that his isolation is indeed a violation of his rights.

In the subsequent appeal case, the Norwegian higher court ruled in the state’s favor and the European Court of Human Rights dismissed the case in 2018.