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Home / News / An Xbox, 3 budgies and a gym: Breivik’s prison digs

An Xbox, 3 budgies and a gym: Breivik’s prison digs

Prison authorities have provided Anders Behring Breivik with three private rooms, including a living room, a study and a small personal gym.

He has three budgies to keep him company, and access to a kitchen, a lounge with a large flat screen TV and an Xbox which he can play with the guards, along with a dining room and a room for visits.

He plays basketball, takes walks and visits the prison library.

Now, the 44-year-old right-wing extremist claims that his human rights are being abused by this prison regime, and is suing the state to have this rectified.

A convicted mass murderer, Breivik was jailed in 2022 for 21 years, and the sentence can be extended indefinitely.

He is incarcerated in the high-security wing of Ringerike prison, on the shores of the lake that surrounds the island of Utoya where he slaughtered 69 people, most of them teenagers, on 22 July, 2011.

Just hours before, he had murdered eight others in Oslo by detonating a bomb.

Breivik’s tearful plea

Relatives mourn those murdered by Breivik days after his killing spree on Utoya

“Breivik has much more space than any other inmate in Ringerike prison,” the facility’s director Eirik Bergstedt has noted.

In a tearful address to the court yesterday, the convict claimed that prison authorities are trying to “push me to suicide”.

This, from the man who once threatened to go on hunger strike if he did not get, among other things, a Playstation 3 instead of the older Playstation 2.

However, it is not the material conditions of his detention that Breivik is protesting this time.

Kept apart from other inmates in high-security facilities for almost 12 years, he claims that this extended isolation is a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits “inhuman” and “degrading” treatment.

“They built a dungeon around me” to “wall me in”, Breivik told the court. “I’m not a hamster, I need real human relationships.”

However, he is not totally isolated.

As well as playing Xbox with the guards, Breivik can join them for a game of cards, or cook and share a meal with them. He sees a pastor, a physiotherapist, a psychiatrist and a Red Cross visitor who brings along a dog for the prisoner to pet.

Breivik chose to end contact with a visitor appointed by the authorities, but continues to meet with another prisoner for one hour a week.

“The Norwegian system is the way it is, but as a mother whose daughter he killed, it’s hard to see him complaining with his nice flat,” Lisbeth Kristine Royneland, head of a support group for families of the victims, said.

Breivik murdered Royneland’s 18-year-old daughter on Utoya.

“But at least he’s behind bars and he’ll never get out again,” she added.

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