22. juli-senteret

The 22nd of July 2011

Friday, the 22nd of July 2011 at 15:25 a car bomb exploded in the Government Quarter of central Oslo. Eight people were killed and nine were severely injured. Nearly 500 people were in the vicinity when the bomb exploded, and many of these people were subjected to physical injuries and psychological trauma. The explosion caused extensive material damage.

Later on the same day, from approximately 17:21, a massacre began at the Workers’ Youth League’s (AUF) annual summer camp on Utøya in Hole Municipality. 564 people were on the island. 69 people were killed, mostly as a result of shooting or gunshot wounds. An additional 33 youth were severely injured and a large number of people suffered psychological trauma.

The perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, was arrested by the Norwegian Police’s Emergency Response Unit on Utøya at 18:34. During both his interrogation and testimony in the Oslo District Court, Breivik stated right-wing extremist and anti-Islamic political motives for the terrorist acts. He justified the attacks as a defence against a politically driven and secret “multicultural project”, believing that ethnic Norwegians had been subjected to abuse in the form of ethnic “deconstruction” since the Norwegian Labour Party opened up the possibility of mass immigration during the 1960s. According to him, all parties in the Norwegian Parliament, but especially the Labour Party, are responsible for this “deconstruction”. The court assessed the accused’s sanity, but did not deem him psychotic during the attacks. The verdict explains the terror attacks as a “combination of fanatic right-wing extremist ideology, an intake of performance-enhancing drugs and possible autosuggestion in combination with pathological or deviant traits in his personality.”

On the 24th of August 2012, he was sentenced to the strictest sentence in Norwegian law: 21 year of preventative detention, with a minimum of 10 years.

Excerpt from the verdict of The 22 July Case, handed down on the 24th of August 2012:

“The defendant has, after several years of planning, carried out a bomb attack aimed at the central government administration and thus also at the country’s democratic institutions. He has killed 77 persons, most of whom were youths who were mercilessly shot face to face. The defendant subjected a large number of persons to acute mortal danger. Many of those affected have sustained considerable physical and/or psychological injuries. The bereaved and next of kin are left with unfathomable grief. The material damage is enormous. The cruelties of the defendant’s acts are unparalleled in Norwegian history.

If the defendant is to serve a 21-year prison sentence without release on probation, he will be 53 years old at the time of his release. Even though 21 years is a very long sentence, the Court finds it improbable that the element of time per se will reduce the risk of a repeat offence. At the time of the release the democracy that the defendant wants to abolish, will still exist. Norway will still have inhabitants of different ethnic backgrounds, different cultures and different religions. The defendant expressed in court that he wants to continue his political struggle behind the prison walls. After having served his sentence, the defendant will most probably have the will and capacity to carry out many and very brutal murders.

Considering the murders and the attempted murders committed by the defendant, in conjunction with the risk of a repetition of such crimes, society must in the case at hand employ the maximum protection admitted under the law.

Anders Behring Breivik, born 1979, is sentenced to preventative detention for a term of  twenty-one (21) years  and a minimum period of ten (10) years.”