Norway Mourns Its Dead; Closed Hearing For Gunman

 

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.

Survivors have criticized the police who, after being summoned to Utøya, took over an hour to get there. Police boarded a boat that took on water due to their weapons and the number of officers and had to turn back; they also said they did not get to the island by helicopter, though a helicopter from the state TV station NRK flew over Utøya.

The attacks may also spark a discussion about whether or not police in Norway should be armed. Currently, police in Norway rarely are, says the New York Times. There were police present on Utøya, including Trond Berntsen, the step-brother of Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Berntsen was one of the first killed; Monica Bosei, who had organized the Labour party camp on Utøya for years, had ridden the ferry to the island with Breivik and became suspicious about his behavior. She spoke to Berntsen about her suspicions and  Breivik took out a gun and shot both, according to Earl Sandbakken, the 19-year-old deputy chairman of the Labour party in the city of Baerum who was on the ferry with Breivik and Bosei to Utøya, says Al Jazeera.

The annual Norway Cup, a youth soccer tournament, is to be held this weekend, though many are wondering if parents will feel safe about sending their children now.

In the evening Prime Minister Stoltenberg addressed a crowd holding red and white roses and said, “By taking part you are saying a resounding ‘yes’ to democracy.”

He also called the gathering a “march for democracy, a march for tolerance, a march for unity” — and, too, a march for hope.

 

Previous Care2 Coverage

Norway Killer: Feminism is Destroying the West

Is the Norway Shooter a Christian Terrorist?

Media Criticized for First Blaming Muslims for Norway Attacks

Almost 100 Killed in Twin Attacks in Norway on Friday

Giant Blast Hits Government Buildings in Oslo

 

Photo by Rødt nytt

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

18 comments

Ameer T.
Ameer T.4 years ago

Lets agree to disagree first. Even if the actions of the Norway bomber were not motivated by religion but because of his dissent over having so many Radical Muslims in Norway, He did far worse to his own country than any Radical Muslim did or would have done. So the argument that he loved and cared for his country dies even in its birthing.

But i dont think this man will be water boarded or tortured as are some SUSPECTED muslims. and the defination of terrorism will remain synonamous with the word Islam despite any evidence to the contrary.

All lives are sacred and not just those that belonged to white caucasions. As long as we are all mourning the loss of innocent victims we should also mourn for the THOUSANDS of lives of infants, children and civilians that were killed and are still being killed in LIbya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

Sherri Mowbray
Sherri M.4 years ago

What a sad world/day this has become. Hearts are truly mourning around the globe by all nations for these very precious people who had their lives taken away so senselessly. Not forgotten either are the parents, siblings and other family members too, their lives will never be the same again. Love & Prayers to all of you.

Pat M.
Patricia Marino4 years ago

I agree with ElsaMaria Bergström who always said "Livets och Kärlekens Krafter ska segra": Life and the Power of Love will conquer all"

Pat Vee
Pat Vee4 years ago

I will not waste any time thinking about the man who did this thing .My energy and thoughts will be spent on the familys and friends of the young people who died.

Dominic C.
Dominic C.4 years ago

The Norwegian Court did the right thing by not sensasionalizing the Court hearing.

Bon Nyberg
Bon Nyberg4 years ago

Humans live in a sick world, overflowing with ugliness and hatred WE not only create but perpetuate. We pollute, destroy and our hearts worship at the alter of power, whether it is built of greed or hate. The Norway tragedy is the heinous act du jour. Every day the world is beaten down by the human parasite. When a person's father wishes for his son's suicide, it proves nothing except how much easier it is to deny culpability than it is to love-- yet LOVE is the single act that holds the cure for humanity. Shame on all of us.

Louise D.
Louise D.4 years ago

The thing about him is that he wanted to be a martyr and an opportunity to voice his views. I read some of his manifesto, I did not get the impression he was mad in the sense of the Tuscon shooter. But, rather he was certainly influenced by some of the material coming out of America and from the British tabloid press where casual racism is very much still used against Muslims especially after 9/11 see how some Conservative commentators have actually sided with him. Ignoring the fact that he did not target Muslims he targeted children as they were easy targets. His lawyer is stating he is mad as it is simply going to be impossible for him in good consious to defend him if it was otherwise.

Suzanne H.
Suzanne H.4 years ago

What would it hurt if we removed Hate from Free Speech1

George R.
George Ripley4 years ago

To Avril V,

I am insulted by your post. Not all of us blamed the Muslim people after 9/11. Your post seems subtly racist. You speak understandingly of Breivik's racism. You belittle his actions as if they weren't the equivalent of a one man war.

You imply that his mental instability could have been considered stability had he killed the people he hated.

Rob K.
Rob Keenan4 years ago

Good for the judge for not letting him use the court room as a platform for his neo Nazi views.