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Norway Mass Killer Complains of 'Inhuman' Prison Conditions

  • VOA News

Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has his handcuffs removed inside the court room in Skien prison, Norway, March 16, 2016.

Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has his handcuffs removed inside the court room in Skien prison, Norway, March 16, 2016.

Convicted mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has told a court he is the victim of inhuman and degrading prison conditions that include microwaved meals he says are "worse than waterboarding" as he argued Norway has violated his human rights.

Speaking Wednesday to the court, held in a gymnasium at his prison in southern Norway, Breivik said it would have been more humane to shoot him than to keep him locked up like an animal. He is being held in solitary confinement.

Breivik was convicted of killing 77 people in a mass shooting and bombing in Oslo in July 2011.

Danger to society

He has been given the maximum sentence of 21 years, but his sentence can be extended as long as he is deemed a danger to society.

Breivik says he has pledged his allegiance to National Socialism, the ideology behind the German nationalist movement that created the Holocaust.

Breivik testified that he believes the Norwegian state is trying to drive him to suicide and that did not believe most people would have survived as long as he has.

Prison officials say they have limited Breivik's access to mail and other prisoners in an attempt to keep him from building an extremist network while incarcerated.

FILE - A woman lights a candle in Sundvollen, facing Utoya island, where gunman Anders Behring Breivik killed at least 68 people, near Oslo, Norway, July 26, 2011. Breivik told a court Wednesday he is the victim of inhuman prison conditions.

FILE - A woman lights a candle in Sundvollen, facing Utoya island, where gunman Anders Behring Breivik killed at least 68 people, near Oslo, Norway, July 26, 2011. Breivik told a court Wednesday he is the victim of inhuman prison conditions.

Court officials are set to tour his cells in the high-security section of Skien Prison before concluding Wednesday's proceedings.

Breivik was convicted of detonating an explosive outside a government building, killing eight people in the blast, and then shooting another 69, most of them teenagers, at a political youth camp on a nearby island.

Deny allegations

The Norwegian government says Breivik is being treated humanely and with dignity, but Breivik says his isolation is not in keeping with standards set out by the European Union.

He has access to three cells in a high-security wing of the prison and his contact with other people is largely limited to prison staff. Prison officials say his mother visited him until she died in 2013.

Prison guards also screen his mail to remove correspondence with sympathizers.

On his first day in court Tuesday, one of the first times he has been in the public eye since his conviction, Breivik issued the extended-arm, palm-down salute associated with Nazi Germany.

The judge asked him not to repeat the gesture on Wednesday.

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