Some 100,000 people rallied in Oslo in a nationwide outpouring of grief for those killed in the horrific attacks there and on the island of Utøya last Friday. Thousands also marched throughout Norway, in Bergen, Trondheim and Kristiansand. A carpet sea of flowers filled the center of Oslo. At noon, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg led the nation in a minute of silence.
Shortly afterwards — to crowds screaming that he is a traitor — Andres Behring Breivik appeared in court to face terrorism charges of destabilizing vital functions of society, including government and causing serious fear in the population, says the BBC. Judge Kim Heger had decided on a closed hearing after police raised concerns about security, including that Breivik, who had wanted to wear a uniform and read a speech to justify his actions — requests which the judge denied — might use the hearing to send signals to accomplices. Breivik pleaded “not guilty” and said that he was “acting to save Norway and Europe from “Marxist and Muslim colonisation” and that he did not aim to kill as many people as possible, but to “create the greatest loss possible to Norway’s governing Labour Party, which he accused of failing the country on immigration.”
Prosecutor Christian Hatlo said that Breivik is now claiming that there were two other cells from his terrorist working with him; this statement has set off an international investigation, though Norwegian police and analysts have cast doubt on Breivik’s claims. Breivik will be detained in custody for eight weeks, the first four in full isolation; his trial might not take place for up to a year, says the Guardian. The closed door hearing also prevents Breivik from turning the hearing into a platform for airing his extremist and anti-Islamic views in the media. Many have been scrutinizing the 1500-page manifesto he posted online.
Said Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, “He has a completely different perception of reality than us other Norwegians, for instance he thinks that torture exists in prisons in Norway.”
French authorities went to the house of Breivik’s father, a retired diplomat in southern France, yesterday, reportedly in a “preventative role.” Jen Breivik said that he had had no contact with his son for 15 years. Breivik said that “What he ought to have done… was to have killed himself.”
Police in Norway have adjusted the number of those killed to 76, from 93. Eight died in the bombing of government buildings in central Oslo and 96 are injured. Several are still missing.
Photo by Rødt nytt
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