Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behrin seeks university place

NORWAY. July 31. KAZINFORM Self-confessed fascist whose terror campaign two years ago killed 77 people has applied to University of Oslo.

Norway's oldest and most illustrious university, with five Nobel Prize winners among its alumni, may soon add the self-confessed fascist whose terror campaign two years ago killed 77 people.

Anders Behring Breivik, serving a 21-year sentence in a maximum security prison, has applied to the University of Oslo to study political science, Norwegian television revealed on Monday night.

The university, whose Latin motto is et nos petimus astra - we strive for the stars - said it would consider Breivik's application on its merits.

Ole Petter Ottersen, the university's rector, confirmed that Breivik had applied to study a single topic that would not lead to a degree, but could not go into details on how the application would be treated.

"Prison inmates are allowed to study, and we have a set of rules that we stick to in assessing applications. We don't want to change them - although obviously some people would like them changed," he told the Guardian.

Breivik last summer announced his intention to study politics and write several books.

André Almås Christiansen, vice-president of the National Union of Students in Norway, said: "I understand that this is sensitive, but we do not comment on individuals. Everyone can apply - it's up to the university to look after this."

Breivik killed 69 school and college students at a summer camp on Utoya island after a bomb he planted in government offices in Oslo killed eight people.

Many staff at the University of Oslo had "reacted quite negatively" to the news of Breivik's application, Ottersen said, and in the "hypothetical" case that Breivik was admitted, lecturers would have the right to refuse to teach him. "Should we find ourselves in that situation, we will be very attentive to the problems that could arise and to the views of our teachers."

The Norwegian Association of Researchers, which represents university teachers, could not be reached for comment.

Despite the reluctance of Norway's higher education institutions to be drawn on the sensitivities of the case, Breivik's application to study is likely to be highly controversial. Per Anders Langerød, who was among the survivors of Breivik's massacre on Utøya island and finished a master's degree in political science at the university last year, said he did not want Breivik there.

"We cannot expect people to accept it," he told TV2. "[The university] is a place where you learn that you should pursue your opinions with words. ... You cannot go out and tape over their mouth or shoot them just because you disagree."

Knut Bjarkeid, the director of Ila prison where Breivik is being held, told Norwegian journalists: "The prison will always try to pave the way for the inmates to get a formal education, so that they are able to get a job when they come out."

In November, Breivik wrote a long letter complaining about the conditions in which he was being held, describing the pen he was forced to write with as "an almost indescribable manifestation of sadism".

Source: The Guardian

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