Anders Behring Breivik on trial: A roundup of global opinion

Anders Behring Breivik is standing trial for the killing of 77 people in dual terror attacks last summer in Norway. The trial has garnered international attention due to the scale of those attacks, Mr. Breivik's unusual manifesto, and the deliberations over his sanity. Here is a roundup of opinions on the trial and the attention it has received from Norway, Europe, Australia, and the US.

1. Presseurop (EU)

Lise Aserud/NTB Scanpix/Reuters
Anders Behring Breivik attends his trial in a courtroom in Oslo, Norway, Tuesday, April 24. Breivik is on trial for killing 77 people in a shooting and bombing rampage last July.

The Norwegian model

By Gian Paolo Accardo

“For his fellow citizens, starting with the survivors and families of the dead, the trial is about resisting the temptation to take revenge, to trust to justice and to build up the antibodies to ensure that Breivik has no emulators.

It is thus a challenge for Europeans, since the media coverage of the Anders Breivik trial and the nature of the procedure (advertising the hearing, freedom of speech for the accused) have offered his ideas a soap box – ‘a trial is a golden opportunity,’ Breivik wrote in the manifesto he posted on the internet before the attacks – that extend well beyond Norway.

However, a significant number of Europeans share these ideas – Islamophobia, xenophobia, hatred of the elites, of social democrats, of liberals and of muliti-culturalism. And it has been rare in Europe to see them displayed without censorship or limitation in a court and retransmitted … to the city and to the world. In many countries, in fact, statements such as those of Breivik are criminalised because of their character – hateful, violent or inciting to hatred and violence.”

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