Breivik says Norway trying to kill him by jail 'torture'

Anders Behring Breivik in court in Oslo, Norway Image copyright AP
Image caption Breivik made no attempt to repeat the Nazi salute he had made on the first day of the case

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has told a courtroom that the state has tried to kill him with five years of solitary confinement.

The right-wing extremist is suing the government, complaining that his jail conditions break human rights laws - the state denies this.

He told the court it would have been more humane to shoot him than treat him like an animal for the past five years.

Breivik murdered 77 people in twin attacks in July 2011.

He carried out a bombing in central Oslo before driving to the island of Utoeya, where he opened fire on children at a Labour party youth camp.

Breivik, 37, told the judge in a converted gym at Skien prison on Wednesday that he would fight for National Socialism (Nazism) until the day he died.

However, he made no attempt to repeat the Nazi salute he had given on the first day of the hearing, after the judge urged him not to.

He praised the rise of the far right in Greece and of right-wing parties in Germany and said he drew strength from Adolf Hitler, while asserting that he no longer believed in violent revolution.

Although the first day of the hearing was broadcast live on Norwegian TV, the cameras were switched off when Breivik began his lengthy, scripted address.

How cushy are Norwegian prisons?

How bad is solitary confinement?

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The hearing is being held in a converted gym at Skien prison, where Breivik has been held since 2013

During his testimony, which he read out unchallenged, Breivik complained of 885 strip-searches, including five since he was transferred to Skien prison three years ago. He went on to suggest that the food he had been given was worse than waterboarding.

"For the past five years the state has tried to kill me," he said. "I don't think many people would have survived as long as I have."

Killer's prison complaints

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Plastic cups and cold coffee were a violation of his rights, Breivik argued

Among Breivik's objections listed during his testimony were

  • The use of plastic cups and paper plates
  • Having to eat microwaved meals, such as those made by Norwegian firm Fjordland*
  • Cold coffee
  • Being denied the right to meet fellow Nazi friends and marry one
  • Being prevented from publishing two books, The Breivik Diaries and The Nordic State
  • He had begun to love a reality TV show, Paradise Hotel: "clear evidence of serious brain damage caused by isolation"

*Fjordland defended its nutritional standards and told the BBC that Breivik's comments were totally absurd

Breivik complained of being completely "gagged" by the authorities and of developing "isolation headache", which had affected his health and concentration.

Breivik accuses the Norwegian government of breaching two clauses of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

One of the clauses guarantees the right to respect for "private and family life" and "correspondence", while the other prohibits "inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment".

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Media captionMads Andenas, whose niece survived Breivik's attack, said his appeal was "something we have to go through"

Breivik, who is serving a 21-year sentence, is the only prisoner in the high-security wing of Skien prison, about 100km (60 miles) south-west of the capital Oslo. Authorities say his correspondence is censored to stop him setting up an "extremist network".

Among his demands in court on Wednesday were access to five friends or supporters, incoming mail and the right to publish two books.

Breivik's visits are almost all with professionals across a glass partition. According to his lawyer, Breivik's mother was the only person allowed to visit him without being separated by the glass screen.

She died in 2013.

The attorney general's office has insisted that Breivik's prison conditions are "well within the limits of what is permitted" under the convention.

Last September, Breivik threatened to starve himself to death in protest at his treatment in prison.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Breivik is currently serving his sentence at Skien prison, where a typical cell looks like this

His cell at Skien prison has a TV and computer but he has no access to the internet.

Breivik was first held at Ila Detention and Security Prison near Oslo before being moved to Skien in 2013. At Ila, he also complained of being held in "inhumane" conditions.