Europe

Anders Behring Breivik's prison conditions 'inhumane'

  • 9 November 2012
  • From the section Europe
Breivik's bare study cell in Ila high-security prison outside Oslo
Breivik's prison cell includes a study

The Norwegian convicted of the massacre of 77 people last year has said he is being held in "inhumane" conditions.

Anders Behring Breivik complained in a letter to the prison service that his coffee is served cold, he does not have enough butter for his bread, and he is not allowed moisturiser.

Breivik is serving a minimum 21-year sentence for the bombings and shootings in Oslo and Utoeya island last July.

The Norwegian authorities have not commented on the letter.

However his lawyer has confirmed that the details of the 27-page document leaked to Norway's VG newspaper are authentic.

Breivik is being held in almost complete isolation - 23 hours a day, he says - at Ila prison outside Oslo.

His cell includes three sections, one to sleep, one for study and a third for exercise - each measuring 8 sq m (86 sq ft).

In the letter, he complains that the cell is poorly decorated and has no view.

"I highly doubt that there are worse detention facilities in Norway," he writes.

'Too cold'

Among his other complaints are:

  • the handcuffs he wears when being moved around the prison "are too sharp and "cut in his wrist"
  • the cell is too cold, forcing him to wear three layers of clothes
  • he has to rush his morning shave and brushing of teeth
  • light and television switches are outside the cell, so he has to ask for help to change channel or sleep.

Ila is an all-male institution which "houses some of the country's most dangerous men", its website says.

However it differs markedly from other maximum security jails in western Europe. The staff is a half-and-half mix of men and women and none are armed.

Breivik massacred 77 people, most of them teenagers at a youth camp run by Norway's governing Labour Party.

His 21-year sentence can be indefinitely extended for as long as he is considered a danger to society.