Police in Oslo are investigating the racist vandalism on Tuesday of a monument to young Benjamin Hermansen, a Norwegian-Ghanaian teenager who was chased down and stabbed to death by neo-Nazis 20 years ago. The vandalism is viewed as a hate crime, and police are taking it seriously on the eve of 10th anniversary memorials to victims of another right-wing extremist’s attack on the 22nd of July 2011.
“There have been both tears and anger today,” Beatriz Jaquotot, a member of the board of Benjamin’s Memorial Fund, told state broadcaster NRK. She and others were working with the police to find out who tagged the bust of Hermansen with the words Breivik fikk rett (Breivik was right), referring to the right-wing extremist terrorist Anders Behring Breivik who bombed the Labour Party’s government headquarters on July 22, 2011 and then gunned down 69 young Labour Party summer campers on the island of Utøya. Breivik, now serving a prison term expected to keep him in custody for life, objected to what he viewed as Labour’s liberal views on immigration.
Police were taking the vandalism against Hermansen’s monument seriously. “It’s soon 10 years since (Breivik’s attacks), and since this refers to Breivik, it’s natural that we investigate this,” Egil Jørgen Brekke of the Oslo Police District, told NRK.
Police were calling for tips from the public and were studying film from surveillance cameras in the area. They think the vandalism occurred early Tuesday morning, and said the case will be handled as both a hate crime and a case of vandalism. Neighbours reacted quickly and the offensive tagging had been washed and chipped away by Tuesday afternoon.