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Norway court to decide if Breivik treated inhumanely in jail

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A Norwegian appeals court will decide Wednesday whether mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is being treated inhumanely in prison by being kept in isolation after a lower court ruled in his favour.

In April 2016, an Oslo district court stunned the survivors and families of the 77 victims of Breivik's 2011 attacks when it found the state guilty of treating him "inhumanely" and in "degrading" fashion, in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The lower court judge noted in particular Breivik's lengthy isolation regime. He has been held apart from other inmates since his arrest on the day of the attacks, and his lawyers have argued that has been detrimental to his mental health.

The Norwegian state appealed.

In January, during the appeals hearing held inside Skien prison where the now 38-year-old neo-Nazi is incarcerated, the state's lawyers argued that the strict regime was justified because he was dangerous.

The state also said it was compensating for the strict regime by providing him with three well-equipped cells, as well as extra interaction with guards and a prison visitor, among others.

In July 2011 Breivik, disguised as a police officer, tracked and gunned down 69 people, most of them teenagers, at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya, shortly after killing eight people in a bombing outside a government building in Oslo.

He said he killed his victims because they valued multiculturalism.

On Wednesday, an Oslo appeals court is expected to publish its verdict, ruling whether his prison conditions violate Article 3 of the Convention.

The three judges will also decide on another issue. Breivik has argued that Norway is also violating Article 8 of the Convention on his right to privacy, by strictly controlling his correspondence with the outside world.

The lower court had found in favour of the state on that point, noting that Breivik remained a dangerous man who was still trying to spread his extreme rightwing ideology and build up a network of followers.

The appeals court's ruling is expected to be published in writing at 12:00 pm (1100 GMT). The court will not be in session.

A Norwegian appeals court will decide Wednesday whether mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is being treated inhumanely in prison by being kept in isolation after a lower court ruled in his favour.

In April 2016, an Oslo district court stunned the survivors and families of the 77 victims of Breivik’s 2011 attacks when it found the state guilty of treating him “inhumanely” and in “degrading” fashion, in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The lower court judge noted in particular Breivik’s lengthy isolation regime. He has been held apart from other inmates since his arrest on the day of the attacks, and his lawyers have argued that has been detrimental to his mental health.

The Norwegian state appealed.

In January, during the appeals hearing held inside Skien prison where the now 38-year-old neo-Nazi is incarcerated, the state’s lawyers argued that the strict regime was justified because he was dangerous.

The state also said it was compensating for the strict regime by providing him with three well-equipped cells, as well as extra interaction with guards and a prison visitor, among others.

In July 2011 Breivik, disguised as a police officer, tracked and gunned down 69 people, most of them teenagers, at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya, shortly after killing eight people in a bombing outside a government building in Oslo.

He said he killed his victims because they valued multiculturalism.

On Wednesday, an Oslo appeals court is expected to publish its verdict, ruling whether his prison conditions violate Article 3 of the Convention.

The three judges will also decide on another issue. Breivik has argued that Norway is also violating Article 8 of the Convention on his right to privacy, by strictly controlling his correspondence with the outside world.

The lower court had found in favour of the state on that point, noting that Breivik remained a dangerous man who was still trying to spread his extreme rightwing ideology and build up a network of followers.

The appeals court’s ruling is expected to be published in writing at 12:00 pm (1100 GMT). The court will not be in session.

AFP
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