Mass Murderer Wins Human Rights Case and That's A Good Thing

Anders Bering Breivik, the far-right terrorist who murdered dozens of people in the Utoeya massacre in 2011 has won a human rights case.
He was being kept in solitary confinement for 22 hours a day, which the Norwegian court ruled was inhuman.
The judge in the case made a succinct point about human rights:

In her ruling, judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic said the right not to be subjected to inhuman treatment represented “a fundamental value in a democratic society” and also applied to “terrorists and killers”.

This is crucial.  Human rights protections apply to all humans.  Granting them to killers should make us feel safer, because if the worst people in society are granted rights then we can be pretty sure that our own rights are secure too (I made this point in a YouTube video I recorded a few years ago).
Its one thing for a dispassionate judge to affirm a murderer’s human rights, but quite another for one of his victims to support the ruling.  But that’s what Utoeya survivor Bjørn Ihler just did:

Again: What Breivik did was inhumane, which is why its crucial to treat him humanely. He doesn’t set the premises for how we treat others.

In his magnanimity, Ihler refuses to continue the cycle of hatred and anger that Breivik sought to perpetuate through his terrorism.  Anders Bering Breivik may have won a court case, but when it comes to his racist political project, he has lost completely.

2 Replies to “Mass Murderer Wins Human Rights Case and That's A Good Thing”

  1. Well said Rob. I heard one of the survivors talking on the Today programme and was struck by his magnanimity, not sure if it was Ihker. I wonder if, in his situation or that of one of the bereaved parents I would feel the same. I hope so but cannot be sure.

  2. What a hugely generous spirit – as you say, let us not perpetuate inhumane behaviour. Treating him inhumanely serves no purpose whatsoever, it does in no way help his victims but the survivors may find some comfort in taking the higher ground.

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