Norway Murderer Wins Human Rights Case

This is a Human Rights case which really makes you think about what is morally right: should someone who has taken so many people’s lives away by killing them indiscriminately receive the same human rights as others?

It was five years ago that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik killed dozens of young political activists who were meeting on a Norwegian island and killed eight further people in a car bomb in Oslo. Well today he won part of a human rights case against the Norwegian state. In class we talk about how human rights were first made into legislation with the UDHR – Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by the United Nations and were then filtered down to a European and National level of law. It was the European Convention on Human Rights which Breivik believed he was being denied, and the this is also what the court agreed.

In article three of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) it is required that prisoners be detained in conditions that did not exceed the unavoidable level of suffering inherent in detention, given the practical requirements of the particular case. The court upheld Breivik’s claim that some of his treatment amounted to “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. The judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic said the right not to be subjected to inhuman treatment represented “a fundamental value in a democratic society” and also applied to “terrorists and killers”. Do you agree?

Breivik, a right-wing extremist, killed dozens of young centre-left political activists in an attack on the island of Utoya in July 2011. Earlier that day, he set off a car bomb in the capital, Oslo, killing eight people.


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