Breivik tells Norwegian court he is a neo-Nazi, gives the Nazi salute, promotes "White" supremacy in his appeal for early release
On 19 January a court in Norway began hearing the request for conditional release filed by Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist terrorist who murdered 77 people during a series of assassinations in 2011 and who is now serving a 21-year prison sentence - he alleges he no longer poses a danger to society after 10 years behind bars. Reuters reports that upon entering the courtroom Breivik immediately gave the Nazi salute.
According to the laws of Norway, the 42-year-old was given an opportunity to request conditional release after serving the first 10 years of his sentence. The court deciding to release him is said to be unlikely.
Despite having been initially sentenced to 21 years in prison for massacring members of the Social Democratic Youth organization, predominantly, the sentence in his case can be extended indefinitely for the rest of his life. Breivik entered the courtroom with a shaved head and stubble on his face, wearing a dark suit with a sign pinned to the lapel featuring a message about the alleged "racial superiority" of "White" people.
Breivik also held up a sign on an A-4 sized piece of paper that read "Stop the genocide against our White nations." He first presented himself to the court by making a gesture of "White" nationalists and then extending his arm into a Nazi salute.
According to the Associated Press (AP), Breivik presented himself to the court as the leader of the Norwegian neo-Nazi movement, which suggested he would be using the hearing as an opportunity to express his views about the alleged "superiority" of "Whites", rather than as a serious attempt at arguing for his early release. Breivik claimed to the court that there is a difference between non-radical and radical "White nationalists" and that by committing his attacks, he has driven the form of such nationalism that is violent from his mind.
"I strongly distance myself from violence and terror today," Breivik claimed. The AP quoted the convicted terrorist as saying: "I hereby give you my word of honor that all of that is behind me once and for all."
Relatives of those whom he murdered and those who survived his attacks had been concerned the public hearing would be abused in exactly this way by the man who harmed and murdered their loved ones to disseminate his ultra-right opinions. The terrorist has never expressed any regret for his actions.
At the end of July 2011, Breivik detonated a bomb in the government district of Oslo, murdering eight people. Shortly thereafter, he shot dead 69 members of a Social Democratic Youth summer camp on the nearby island of Utöya.
A year later, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison for terrorism, the highest one-off sentence that can be imposed in Norway. When he entered the courtroom during his trial in 2012, he gave the Nazi salute daily and repeated to the grieving parents of the people whom he had murdered that he wished his actions had resulted in an even higher death toll.
From prison he has tried to form a Fascist party and has addressed right-wing extremists in Europe and the United States through the post with that aim. The administration at the prison has confiscated many of those letters, concerned that Breivik could inspire others to commit such violent attacks.
The court hearing of his request for release lasted until Thursday, 20 January 2022 and was held in the gym of the Skien Prison - 100 kilometers southwest of Oslo - where Breivik is serving his sentence. The decision on his request for release is expected to be made before the end of January.
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