On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the attacks in Oslo and the island of Utøya, former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called for the relentless struggle for the values of an open society. “Ten years ago we encountered hate with love. But there is still hatred, ”NATO Secretary General said Thursday at a memorial service in Oslo Cathedral.
In doing so, Stoltenberg recalled other acts committed in Norway for racist and far-right motives, as well as terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, New York, Kabul, Baghdad, Christchurch and other places around the world. “We are reminded again and again that democracy is not won once and for all. We have to fight for them every day, ”he said. “Terrorists can choose to take lives, but we decide that they should not take democracy, our free and open society from us.”
The perpetrator was sentenced to 21 years in prison
Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed a total of 77 people on July 22, 2011 with a car bomb in the government district of Oslo and a massacre among participants in the annual summer camp of the Party’s youth organization social democrat of the workers the Utøya. Stoltenberg had been Prime Minister of Norway at the time of the Breivik attacks. He has been NATO Secretary General since 2014.
Most of the victims of the Utøya attack were under 20, the youngest only 14. The attack, which also injured dozens of people, caused horror in Norway and around the world. Breivik, who was 32 at the time of the crime, was sentenced to 21 years in prison in 2012, followed by preventive detention.
Erna Solberg (left to right), Prime Minister of Norway, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway attend a commemoration in Oslo to mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utøya. : Image: dpa
“We must not leave hatred unanswered,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Thursday during a memorial service to survivors and relatives of the victims in Oslo. Much has been done since the attacks to strengthen the struggle of the security authorities against all forms of extremism.
Most important, however, is that each individual build an “inner bulwark against intolerance and hate speech,” Solberg said. At noon, bells were to ring across the country in Norway in memory of the victims of the attacks. In addition to the commemorative event in Oslo and a mass in the local cathedral, another commemorative ceremony was planned on the island of Utøya.
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