The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday ruled “inadmissible” a complaint by the neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, about his conditions of detention.
The ECHR found that Breivik’s complaint, in which he claimed that his conditions of detention were “inhumane”, did not fall within a “violation of the European Convention” of human rights and declared his complaint “inadmissible for being manifestly ill-founded.”
“It is a relief. Now, we hope we will not talk about him for many, many years, “said Lisbeth Kristine Røyneland, chair of the Norwegian killer victim support group, who herself lost her 18-year-old daughter to the Utøya island.
Breivik had appealed to the Strasbourg court after exhausting all his appeals in Norway, after the Supreme Court refused to consider his appeal in June 2017. He said that his prison regime in Skien prison violated articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The first prohibits any “degrading” or “inhuman” treatment, the second guarantees the right to respect for privacy and correspondence. The appeal focused on the issue of his isolation, according to his lawyer, Øystein Storrvik.
The Norwegian State has consistently rejected the allegations of isolation and argues that Breivik is treated as a “VIP prisoner” with three richly equipped cells at his disposal, and that he has multiple contacts with the prison staff, his lawyer and prison visitors. The 38-year-old extremist, who changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen, is serving a 21-year prison sentence that can be extended indefinitely.
On July 22, 2011, disguised as a police officer, he launched an hour-long attack on participants at a Labour Youth summer camp, on the island of Utøya shooting dead 69 of them, mostly teens. Earlier, he had killed eight others by detonating a bomb near the government headquarters in Oslo. It was the worst act of violence to hit the Nordik country since the Second World War.