Norway's worst mass killer is suing the Norwegian state for allegedly breaching his rights
His case centers on the complaint that he is isolated from other inmates and the outside world
The state's legal team argues the measures in place are appropriate and proportionate
Far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik gave a Nazi salute as he entered a makeshift courtroom Tuesday for the first day of his lawsuit against the Norwegian state, alleging his human rights have been violated during his incarceration.
Breivik, who killed 77 people in a shooting massacre and bombing attack in July 2011, is suing Norway, claiming that his treatment in the country’s high-security Skien prison, where he is held in isolation, is in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
According to claims submitted to the court, the 37-year-old alleges his treatment breaches Article 3 of the convention, prohibiting “inhuman or degrading treatment,” and Article 8, which guarantees respect for “private life” and correspondence.
The state’s legal team argues the restrictions on the killer are appropriate and proportionate, given the seriousness of his crimes.
Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison in 2012 – the maximum possible sentence under Norwegian law, but one which could be extended if he is considered to still pose a threat to society.
Due to security considerations, proceedings in the suit are being heard inside a gymnasium at Skien prison, which has been temporarily converted into a courtroom.
Appearing in public for the first time since his trial, Breivik, dressed in a black suit and gold tie, appeared thinner than he had previously, and sported a closely shaved head. He made the Nazi salute after his handcuffs were removed on entering the courtroom.
At the end of the day’s proceedings, Judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic instructed Breivik not to repeat the gesture when he returns to court to testify on Wednesday.
Breivik’s case centers on the complaint that he is banned from contact with other inmates, has limited contact with prison guards and had had virtually no contact with anyone outside a professional capacity.