Oslo police probe hatred towards AUF

Someone has been sending hateful and threatening messages to members of the Norwegian Labour Party’s youth organization AUF, seven years after it was targeted by a right-wing extremist who gunned down scores of young and aspiring Labour politicians at their annual summer camp. Police have now launched an investigation into the anonymous threats, with those involved facing prison terms, fines or both.

“Many of these messages are extremely harsh and amount to pure death threats,” Monica Lillebakken, leader of the Oslo Police District’s hate crimes division, told newspaperAftenposten. The police probe into who’s behind them, and why they suddenly escalated earlier this year, was launched afterAftenposten’sweekly magazineA-magasinetreported late last week on how many of the survivors of the massacre at AUF’s summer camp on the island of Utøya on July 22, 2011 keep being targeted, again and again. The latest batch of threats has come in the months and weeks prior to last weekend’s annual memorial ceremony honouring victims and survivors of the July 22 attacks and AUF’s next summer camp gathering back on Utøya that begins next week.

One typically anonymous message-sender wrote that AUF’s “entire election committee should be executed.” That message ticked in shortly after Mani Hussaini was elected to take over as AUF leader after Eskil Pedersen. Another called AUF a “nesting grounds for Islam,” while yet another claimed Labour “loves Islamister.”

Hussaini is soon likely to be succeeded by the now 28-year-old Ina Libak, who survived being shot in her arms, jaw and chest on Utøya. She has also received threats, one just after she spoke on Norway’s May 1st Labour Day about the hatred and conspiracy notions directed at the Labour Party.

Yet another anonymous harasser wrote to AUF camper Tarjei Jensen Bech, who also was shot by the anti-immigration extremist Anders Behring Breivik but survived, that it was “sad Breivik didn’t aim better.”One message written in Swedish warned Bech that “the next time you round a corner it will be me with a magnum and then you are DEAD, pig that you are Terjei,” misspelling Bech’s first name. The message was accompanied by three illustrations of guns.

Earlier complaints dropped

At the urging of Norway’s state police, Bech reported the latest “you should have been killed” threat against him last spring to police in Finnmark, where the 26-year-old from Hammerfest now works as deputy county governor. He was equipped with an alarm box to wear around his neck that, when pressed, will summon police. Shortly thereafter, however, he received a letter from local police saying his case had been dropped because police were unable to determine who had sent the threats.

Terje Daae, a prosecutor for the Finnmark Police District, toldA-magasinetthat police take such cases seriously, but the false email addresses and cash cards used to send the text threats to their recipients’ mobile phones make it difficult to identify those who, in reality, don’t want to be associated with their own words. That’s often been the case in all the other threats sent to many others who survived the massacre on Utøya.

Listhaug stirred things up

A-magasinetreported that there was a wave of such hateful messages earlier this year, just after then-Justice Minister Sylvi Listhaug of the Progress Party controversially claimed on her own Facebook page that the Labour Party put the interests of terrorists above national security . The public and political outrage that followed forced Listhaug to ultimately apologize for her inflammatory statement and resign her government post . Many think Listhaug’s Facebook post emboldened racists and anti-Islamists to send their threatening messages, although nearly all hide behind anonymity.

Now police in Oslo who specialize in tracking online crime think they have a good chance to expose the offenders. “It’s very important to reveal the extent of this type of crime,” Lillebakken of the Oslo Police District toldAftenposten. She stressed that threats, discriminatory remarks and hateful content are not covered under constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression.

Investigation welcomed

Frode Elgesem, who coodinated all the lawyers appointed to support victims’ families and survivors of the July 22 terrorist attacks, welcomes the new police response to the threats against the AUF members. Many have since left politics and stopped expressing themselves publicly, which he considers a result of the pressure against freedom of expression itself.

“It’s important that those receiving such threats know that they’re being followed up,” Elgesem told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday. He thinks the Oslo Police District’s investigation, aimed at revealing and punishing those sending the hate messages and threats, is “the clearest manner in which society can signal that such messages are not acceptable.”

He also urged anyone receiving such hateful messages to report them to police, “to get the extent of them known and tackled.” He said they are covered under several portions of the law and can result in prison terms or fines.

newsinenglish.no\
extremism government July22 politics racism
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
Over 334,000 people were paid disability insurance at the end of September.This is an increase of 2,100 people, but the proportion of social security payments remains stable.   This is shown in figures for the third quarter from Nav.A total of 9.8% of the population aged 18 to 67 years old are disabled. This is the same share as at the end of the second quarter. There has been an increase in all counties in the past year,except in Troms, which has had a de...
Society
Eastern Norway gained more rain over the weekend than the total in June and July Throughout June and July, a total of 78.1 millimetres of rain fell on Tryvannshøgda in Oslo. On Saturday and Sunday, 98.2 millimetres were measured.   The contrasts were shown in the years rainfall in Norway. “In summer, less rain fell than normal, while both Saturday and Sunday were on the top five list of wet November days since the Meteorological Institute started measureme...
Society
43,000 more people earning wages in Norway In the third quarter of this year, there were almost 2.7 million wage earners in Norway. That is almost 43,000 more than during the same quarter last year. The growth among men is 2.1 per cent, against 1.2 per cent for women, according to Statistics Norway. The number of employment appointments in Norway increased by 1.9 per cent to 2.9 million appointments in the third quarter of this year. Growth in the number o...
Society
The second round of the 2018 World Chess Championship in London between three-time defending champion Magnus Carlsen and American Fabiano Caruana ended in a draw on Saturday. The two young chess stars, both under 30, have one point each after drawing their opening two games of the tournament. Italian prodigy Carlsen is seeking to cement his reputation as one of history's greatest chess players, while Caruana is another young star helping to return mass app...
Society
Norway said on Friday it was freezing all defence material export licences to Saudi Arabia over recent developments in the country and the war in Yemen. The announcement came amid international outrage over Riyadh's killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October, though Norway did not mention the murder specifically. "We have decided that, in the current situation, no new licences are to be granted for exports...
Society
An operation was underway Thursday to try to stop a Norwegian navy frigate from sinking after it collided with a Maltese oil tanker in a fjord in western Norway. Eight people received minor injuries in the accident, which took place shortly after 4:00 am (0300 GMT) in a busy waterway in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen, Norway's military said. The 137 people on board the KNM Helge Ingstad frigate, which was returning from Nato's Trident Juncture exercises, were...
Society
Far from the sun-kissed beaches of Rio de Janeiro and Ipanema, Brazilian surfer Gil Ferreira plunges into Norway's icy waters to ride over the dark swells of the Arctic. Swapping shorts for a thick-skinned wetsuit and gloves, Ferreira braved freezing weather, rain and seals in the Lofoten Masters, the only surf competition held in the extremes of the Northern Hemisphere. Ferreira was one of 32 participants in this year's Lofoten tournament, which increasin...
Society
The Coca-Cola Company wants local brand Tøyen-Cola’s new product Jallasprite to be banned with the claim of trademark infringement and violation of the marketing act. According to Vårt Oslo’s report, Jallasprite and Tøyen-Cola’s producer Jarle Hollerud has been informed by Coca-Cola Company that the case will be taken to the district court in Oslo, if he does not stop using the name Jallasprite before Friday. The Coca-Cola Company also requires that all bo...
Society
A Norwegian navy frigate and an oil tanker from Malta collided in Øygarden in western Norway. Seven people were injured. Returning from Nato’s Trident Juncture exercise, KNM Helge Ingstad frigate collided with the Sola TS oil tanker, Norwegian Royal Army confirmed. A total of 137 people were on board the frigate while 23 were on the tanker. The oil tanker received only slight damage, while the frigate has been seriously damaged. A small oil slick from the...