Contact Us

Norway marks 10th anniversary of 'attack on democracy'

Memorial ceremonies have started in Norway to honour the victims of the terrorist attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utoya exactly 10 years ago.

Published July 22,2021
"The terrorism of July 22 was an attack on our democracy," Prime Minister Erna Solberg said at a first ceremony in the morning in the government district of the Norwegian capital, where the attacks by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik started on July 22, 2011.

It should never be acceptable that someone resorts to violence to stop those who think differently from them, she said, before reading out the names of all 77 victims of the attacks.

Breivik first detonated a car bomb in the government district of the Norwegian capital on July 22, 2011, killing eight people.

He then drove to the island of Utoya, where he posed as a policeman and opened fire on participants at the annual summer camp of the youth organization of the Labour Party.

A total of 69 people, mostly teenagers and young adults, were killed on the island.

Breivik cited right-wing extremist and Islamophobic motives for his actions and was sentenced in 2012 to the maximum sentence of 21 years' detention with a minimum term of 10 years.

Former Norwegian head of government Jens Stoltenberg, who was serving as prime minister at the time of the attack, pointed to the struggle for values of an open society.

"Ten years ago, we met hate with love. But hate still exists," said the current NATO secretary general at the memorial service.

Stoltenberg recalled other acts committed for racist reasons and right-wing extremist motives in Norway, but also terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, New York, Kabul, Baghdad, Christchurch and other places around the world.

"Again and again we are reminded that democracy has not won once and for all. We have to fight for it every single day," he said. "The terrorists may choose to take away lives, but we determine that they must not take democracy, our free and open society, from us."