Keeping Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik in solitary confinement constitutes inhuman punishment, a court has ruled.
Breivik had claimed that isolating him in a cell for up to 23 hours a day amounted to “torture.”
He killed 77 people in July 2011 during a bombing and shooting spree in Norway.
By American standards, Norwegian prisons are plush – containing wooden shelves, a modern bed and a separate toilet and shower room. Breivik has been held for nearly five years in a three-cell complex, where he can play video games, watch television and exercise, the Guardian reported.
The Norway prison cell of Anders Breivik (Facebook)
But Oslo judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic ruled Wednesday that Breivik’s treatment violated the country’s ban on inhuman and degrading treatment.
Those prohibitions apply “no matter what – also in the treatment of terrorists and killers,” Sekulic told the court.
The 37-year-old inmate complained in a March hearing that solitary confinement, strip searches and being handcuffed violated his human rights.
Breivik, who’s made Nazi salutes in court appearances, also complained about have to eat with plastic cutlery and said eating prison food was “worse than water-boarding.”
According to his lawyer, Breivik must now be removed from isolation.
He was sentenced in 2012 to a maximum of 21 years in prison, which can be extended if he is considered a risk to society. He was convicted of killing eight people in a downtown Oslo bomb attack outside a government building.
He later shot to death 69 others, most of them teens, at an island retreat for youth of the Norwegian Labor party.