An Oslo court has ruled that mass-murderer and terrorist Anders Breivik, who is currently serving Norway's maximum 21-year prison sentence, has had his human rights violated by the state.
Breivik, who massacred 77 young people on the island of Utøya and planted a car bomb in central Oslo that killed eight others in 2011, complained of excessive use of handcuffs, being isolated in solitary confinement for five years and subjected to random strip searches, occasionally in front of female officers.
The Independent reports that the court upheld his lawsuit claim that some of his treatment at Skien prison was "inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment".
The decision was met with outcry in the international community, as it has often pointed out that Norway's prison conditions are practically luxurious compared to other countries.
Just some of the things Breivik has access to prison:
1. Three cells - one for sleeping, one for exercising, one for studying, as well as use of the exercise yard
2. Allowed to cook and wash his own clothes
3. Regular contact with his family, including phone conversations with a female friend
4. Access to lawyers, a priest, health professionals and other prison staff
5. Got to build a gingerbread house as part of a prison competition
6. Newspapers, television, and a Playstation 2
7. Declined the opportunity to play chess with volunteers
8. Has a computer (with no internet access)
If neither side appeals against the judgement within four weeks, the prison is obliged to make Breivik's regime more lenient in line with the judge's remarks, NRK reported.
Here’s a list of other things Breivik reportedly complained about in the suit:
1. His Playstation 2 games are insufficient because they are "outdated... and not for adults"
2. He was unhappy having to eat with plastic utensils
3. having to drink cold coffee
4. Only having access to one of the three rooms in his cell at times
5. Not being allowed postage stamps
6. Only being allowed to use the egg timer while cooking
7. Not being allowed to use the oven to cook a frozen pizza
8. No internet access
The judge's verdict said:
The prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment represents a fundamental value in a democratic society. This applies no matter what - also in the treatment of terrorists and killers.
The court has ruled that the state will have to pay Breivik's legal fees to the tune of £28,000. If neither side appeals the decision, the prison will be obliged to change Breivik's prison regime to make it more lenient, as per the judge's remarks.
Bjorn Ihler, who survived Breivik's massacre on Utøya, tweeted his take on Wednesday's verdict: