Convicted Norwegian terrorist and mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, who is serving a 21-year sentence for killing 77 people on 22 July 2011, has submitted a request for parole through his lawyer.
“He wants this now. He has been in solitary confinement for over eight years since the trial was over,” Breivik's lawyer Øystein Storrvik told the newspaper Verdens Gang. “He is entitled to a judicial review of parole at a minimum time of ten years in his case. This is a right that all convicts have and which he wants to exercise,” Storrvik added.
According to Storrvik, there will be a court hearing on whether Breivik is to be released.
“The legal question is whether the conditions for him to continue to be held in custody have been met,” Storrvik said.
Lawyer Storrvik also stressed that they are planning a new lawsuit against the state about Breivik’s conditions of imprisonment.
In 2015, Breivik already sued the state for “human rights violations”. His complaints were initially partially upheld by the Oslo District Court, but the the Court of Appeal later ruled no violations had occurred.
“We plan to follow up the petition with a new lawsuit about the durability of such a long isolation under the European Convention on Human Rights. His prison conditions have not been significantly improved since this was last dealt with by the courts. The so-called compensatory measures are not sufficient to be able to make such long-term isolation legally sustainable,” Storrvik said.
In July 2011, whe disguised as a police officer, Breivik tracked and gunned down 69 people, most of them teenagers at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utøya, after killing eight people in a bombing in Oslo's government quarter the very same day. In 2012 he was jailed to 21 years in prison, Norway's harshest sentence.
In Skien prison, Breivik has three cells, each measuring 10 square metres with outdoor views, plus he is allowed to exercise, play video games and watch television. However, his sentence can be extended indefinitely. So far, Breivik has spent his time in maximum confinement and has never had contact with other inmates. Previously, Breivik's sentence was reported to cost Norwegian society NOK 5.2 million annually ($580,000).
Since his incarceration, Breivik has expressed remorse over his deeds and voiced a desire to leave what he described as “fascist, national socialist and ethno-nationalist ideology and movement”. However, psychologists doubted the authenticity of his sentiment and suggested this may be an attempt at manipulation.
Breivik has often been compared to Norwegian musician and writer Varg Vikernes, the man behind Burzum, one of the most influential black metal acts. Vikernes, who was convicted of murder and church arson, was handed amaximum prison sentence as well and was long seen as public enemy number one. He ended up serving 15 years in prison and was released on parole. After his release, he moved to France with his wife and children, where he continued to write and make music.