Norwegian court: Anders Breivik's human rights were violated

Anders Breivik is the mass murderer who set off a bomb in Oslo in 2011. Eight people were killed in that attack. Breivik then went on a shooting spree which killed 69 more people at a Labor Party youth camp. For the combined murder of 77 people Breivik was given 21 years in jail, which is apparently the maximum sentence in Norway (his time could be extended if he is judged to still be a danger). Here, according to the New York Times is the rough conditions he has to deal with:

Anders Behring Breivik…lives in conditions that would seem luxurious by American incarceration standards: a three-room suite with windows that includes a treadmill, a fridge, a television with DVD player and even a Sony PlayStation.

Not happy with the terms of his confinement, Breivik sued the Norwegian government claiming the conditions under which he has been jailed are inhumane. Specifically, he was unhappy that he was frequently strip-searched, that his computer did not give him access to the internet, that the government was choosing not to deliver some of his mail and that he had almost no interaction with other prisoners. He even complained about his meals. Incredibly, the court agreed that his treatment was a danger to his mental health. From the NY Times:

A Norwegian court found that the government had violated his human rights, concluding that his long-term solitary confinement posed a threat to his mental health…

Judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic of the Oslo District Court, who oversaw the trial, which was held at the prison for security reasons, found on Wednesday that prison officials had violated an article of the European Convention of Human Rights that prohibits “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” She directed the government to reduce the extent of Mr. Breivik’s isolation — though she did not specify how — and ordered the government to pay Mr. Breivik’s legal fees of 331,000 kroner, or about $40,600.

So Breivik will apparently get more time with other inmates. The judge did rule that the government had not violated his rights regarding the privacy of his mail. Breivik has reportedly received mail from extremists in other countries (including the U.S.) who share his beliefs. These letters are not given to him. Also, letter Breivik has written to other extremists are not sent, lest he encourage similar extremism abroad.

One particular type of relief Breivik is interested in is the right to publish his political beliefs at least once every three years. He has also written two books while in confinement that he would like to see published.

Breivik has given no sign that he feels any remorse for the murders he committed. He told the judge that sentenced him he regretted not killing more people. And it seems nothing has changed since then. When Breivik appeared in the makeshift court for his trial last month he waited for guards to remove his handcuffs and then gave a Nazi salute.