[QODLink]
Europe

Breivik criticises 'inhumane' jail conditions

Norwegian mass killer's complaints range from censorship of his letters to prison's cold coffee and lack of moisturiser.
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2012 18:26
Breivik killed 77 people in a bombing in Oslo and a shooting frenzy on the island of Utoeya in July last year [Reuters]

Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass killer, has complained about his conditions in prison, with grievances ranging from not being able to keep moisturiser in his cell to the temperature of his coffee.

The complaints are included in a 27-page letter to prison authorities obtained by the Norwegian tabloid VG which was published on Friday and verified by his lawyer.

In the document, Breivik protests that the censorship of his letters was so strict that his freedom of expression was being impinged upon, Tord Jordet, said.

"I highly doubt that there are worse detention facilities in Norway," the right-wing extremist, who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting frenzy in July last year, says in the letter.

Norway's justice ministry declined to comment.

Breivik earned international notoriety last year when he detonated a bomb outside the centre-left government's headquarters on July 22 and then went on the rampage at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoeya, killing 77 people, many of them teenagers.

He was sentenced in August to 21 years in jail for "acts of terror" over the worst peacetime atrocity in Norway, and is now being held in near complete isolation at a high security prison outside Oslo.

'Rights violated'

In excerpts from the letter quoted by VG, the 33-year-old outlined a catalogue of complaints that ranged from everyday annoyances to more serious issues.

Breivik said he was not getting enough butter to spread on his bread and that his cell was sparsely decorated and has no view.

He also said that the handcuffs he has to wear when being transferred are razor sharp and "cut into his wrists".

Other complaints concerned the daily searches of his cell and body searches, for which he had to get undressed, and restrictions placed on his correspondence.

"He is aware that, taken separately, his grievances can seem unimportant, but taken together, they paint a grim picture," Jordet told the AFP news agency.

"His freedom of speech is being violated. Being deprived of this freedom of expression breaches the constitution and human rights."

Breivik should also have access to an exercise room and a computer room.

However, access to those facilities is controlled by the prison authorities who, according to Jordet, have not replied to his requests in recent weeks to use the computer.

Wanting to correspond with his supporters and to write books, Breivik only has use of a pen, which he considers very inconvenient, Jordet said.

'Crocodile tears'

Breivik, who has been separated from other inmates since his arrest, also claims he is deprived of recreational and social activities.

"Such treatment isn't human," Jordet said Thursday.

But Eivind Rindal, a survivor of the Utoeya rampage, said he was unmoved by Breivik's "crocodile tears".

"Breivik has to remember that it's not shoplifting a pair of socks that he's convicted of," Rindal told VG.

"It is easy to see him as a cynical and cunning threat who could harm himself and others, and who could potentially inspire others like him."

During his trial, Breivik showed little emotion and no remorse, and once described his mass slaughter as "cruel but necessary" to protect Norway from multiculturalism.

Before the attack, he had posted online a rambling 1,500-page manifesto laying out his hateful world view and at one stage during the trial he told the court: "I would do it again."

544

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list