Norway PM Jens Stoltenberg warns against 'witch-hunt'

  • Published
Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, addresses a special session of parliament about the 22 July attacks
Image caption,
Mr Stoltenberg said Norwegians had found their way home again

Norway's Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, has warned his compatriots not to launch a "witch-hunt" following the deadly attacks of 22 July.

At a special session of parliament, he urged citizens and fellow politicians to show restraint and tolerance.

King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon stood in silence as the speaker read the names of the 77 victims.

MPs listened as violinist Arve Tellefsen played sombre music by the Norwegian composer Ole Bull.

More funerals were held on Monday, including that of Gizem Dogan, a 17-year-old girl of Turkish origin.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended her funeral ceremony, held on the first day of Ramadan, in Trondheim, on Norway's west coast. It took place on a football pitch because the local mosque was too small.

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has admitted carrying out the attacks - a car bomb in Oslo that killed eight people, and a mass shooting on the island of Utoeya that killed 69 mostly young Labour Party activists.

Police said he would face interrogation this week that would be "more confrontational" than previous questioning.

'Fear and despair'

A survey has suggested public pressure is growing in Norway for stiffer sentences for serious crimes. The poll for Verdens Gang newspaper suggested 65% of people thought penalties in Norway's justice system were "too low"; more than half said their view had hardened since the massacre.

But Justice Minister Knut Storberget said: "We must listen and have a debate, while not drawing hasty conclusions.

"It's important that policy isn't shaped in a state of panic."

The prime minister also warned against measures that would curtail people's freedoms.

"I would like to ask from this podium that we avoid starting a witch hunt on expression," he told MPs.

"Everyone had to choose their own path in a landscape filled by shock, fear and despair. But the Norwegian people found their way home again."

But the right-wing Progress Party indicated that it would press for tougher judicial measures.

Per Sandberg, chairman of parliament's justice committee, and a member of the party, said when parliament reconvened in a few weeks there would be discussion "about sentences, searches by the police and everything else".

"My party has always wanted that. I believe there will be new measures," he told Reuters.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.