Few weeks ago I was asked by AFP to travel to Norway to cover Biathlon world championships and Breivik’s lawsuit against Norway, accusing state of ‘inhuman treatment’.
Let me remind you who Anders Behring Breivik is.
On 22 July 2011, he killed eight people by setting off a van bomb amid the government quarter Regjeringskvartalet in Oslo, then murdered 69 participants of a Workers' Youth League (AUF) summer camp on the island of Utøya. He is a Norwegian terrorist! A mass murderer!
Now he is accusing state of ‘inhuman treatment’!!!
I understand that Norway is a democratic country but I just don’t understand how they can give him this time and this stage under the spotlights yet again..
Before getting to Skien prison to attend his lawsuit against the Norwegian State I was nervous. For those who don’t remember I arrived to Norway less then 24 hours after the attacks and stayed there for a week. As a photographer I can honestly say that it was one of the hardest weeks in my professional life. It was so sad and emotional. So many people lost their life and hundreds of family members lost their loved ones.
The time was 7.30 am when I arrived together with my colleague to Skien prison. The sun was already shining but it still felt like winter cold. After 45 min of security check we finally got into the other side of this massive jail wall.
We entered to the makeshift courtroom at the prison’s gym and found our seats. Now all we had to do was to wait.
The lawyers came and placed their documents on their tables. Some prison guards walked among us journalists.
8.45am a yellow door opened up and there he was. I saw his face for the first time! With handcuffs, surrounded by guards he started to walk slowly towards us.
His handcuffs are removed and as expected he raises his arm for a salute, but instead of his right wing salute, this time he raises his arm for a Nazi salute!! With his arm up for at least 10 seconds he looks with his scary eyes into all the cameras not missing even a single one!
When the judge entered the court room we were told to go back to our seats and not to photograph until the break.
I am done with the first images. He is seated in his chair so quiet and polite. He looks up and then looks down again on his documents in front of him. He listens to the state’s lawyers. All and all he looks like a normal person.
When I look at his hands touching the documents again I can’t stop thinking that these evil hands killed 77 innocent people just 5 years ago. Then, for few moments he even had a smile. The feeling I had that moment can’t be described..
For these kind of extreme cases i do think that there is a place for a death sentence even in a place like Norway!