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Prison isolation does not violate killer Breivik's rights, Norwegian court rules

Norway did not violate the human rights of mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik by isolating him in jail, an appeals court has ruled, overturning a lower court ruling from last year.

The Borgarting Court of Appeal said Breivik, serving a 21-year sentence for killing 77 people in a 2011 bomb-and-shooting rampage, "has not been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment", adding that the conditions for his incarceration were "not in violation" of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Incarceration in a high-security prison "entails an element of suffering and humiliation", the court said.

"However, such special safety measures may be required. This particularly applies to some dangerous prisoners to prevent, for instance, escape, violence or prison disturbances."

"Isolation from other inmates coupled with tight control are examples of such security measures," the court said.

Defence lawyer Oystein Storrvikk said after Wednesday's ruling that Breivik would now appeal to Norway's top court - the Supreme Court - and possibly to the European Court of Human Rights.

During the trial, the state sought to show that Breivik does have meaningful human contact on a daily basis, including a weekly meeting with a priest with whom he can have confidential conversations.

Breivik, 37, told the trial in a makeshift courtroom in the gym at the prison in Skien, 135 kilometres (85 miles) south-west of the capital Oslo, that his solitary confinement in prison has deeply damaged him and made him even more radical in his neo-Nazi beliefs.

The court said in its ruling that Breivik appears "as strongly influenced as ever by his right-wing political universe", adding he could still inspire people in right-wing circles to commit acts of violence.

"His desire to build network with like-minded must be considered in this light," the court wrote.

It added there was still "a risk for violence and threats" against Breivik.

Last year, the Norwegian government appealed against a lower court ruling that Breivik's isolation in prison violated his human rights.

That ruling said it was "inhuman (and) degrading" and breached the European Convention on Human Rights.



From Belfast Telegraph