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Breivik ‘trying to spread his ideology from prison’

Anders Behring Breivik
SKIEN, Norway: The Norwegian state, found guilty of treating mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik “inhumanely” in prison, said Wednesday his limited contact with the outside world was necessary because he is trying to spread his ideology from prison, including in dating adverts.
Breivik, who killed 77 people in a 2011 bomb-and-shooting rampage, is in touch with fellow right-wing extremists from behind bars, a government attorney said Wednesday, arguing that he must be held in solitary confinement.
Speaking as part of a government appeal against a court ruling last year that Breivik’s isolation in prison violates his human rights, Attorney General Fredrik Sejersted said the self-proclaimed neo-Nazi continues to spread extremist ideology through voluminous writings and that his correspondence should still be monitored, including opening his letters.
The government maintains that the 37-year-old right-wing extremist is dangerous and must remain isolated from inmates in the high-security prison in Skien, where the appeals case is also being heard.
Breivik sued the government last year, arguing that his solitary confinement, frequent strip searches and the fact that he was often handcuffed in the early part of incarceration violated his human rights.
In a surprise verdict, the Oslo District Court sided with Breivik’s claims, finding that his isolation was “inhuman (and) degrading,” breaching the European Convention on Human Rights, and ordered the government to pay Breivik’s legal costs.
But it dismissed Breivik’s claim that his right to respect for private and family life was violated by restrictions on contacts with other right-wing extremists, a decision that Breivik in turn is appealing.
Sejersted told the court that Breivik continues to try to find ways of bypassing censorship of his correspondence, including in an ad to find a marriage partner.
“The text is structured like a personal ad because he knows that personal ads have special protection in Strasbourg,” which holds the seat of the European Court of Human Rights.
Sejersted also said that Breivik’s prison conditions are better than for many other inmates. He has a three-cell complex where he can play video games, watch TV and exercise, in compensation for his solitary confinement.
Breivik arrived in court quietly, dressed in a black suit, with shaved head and sporting a beard grown since last year’s court appearance. Stone-faced, he glared at reporters briefly before being seated. He refrained from making a Nazi salute as he did on the first day of the hearing when he was admonished by the judge.
Breivik was convicted of mass murder and terrorism in 2012 and given a 21-year prison sentence that can be extended for as long as he is deemed dangerous to society.
At the time of the attacks, he claimed to be the commander of a secret Christian military order plotting an anti-Muslim revolution in Europe, but now describes himself as a traditional neo-Nazi. He also made a Nazi salute to journalists at the start of his human rights case last year.