The following article concerns what happened to the Norwegian blogger Ole Jørgen Anfindsen in the wake of the Breivik trial. It was translated by two of our Norwegian correspondents, The Observer and Beach Bum.
Beach Bum includes this brief bio of Dr. Anfindsen:
Ole Jørgen Anfindsen (54) holds a PhD in Computer Science and is the author of the book Selvmordsparadigmet (“The Suicide Paradigm”). He is a blogger at honestthinking.org, which has separate Norwegian/Scandinavian and English language sections.
He appeared as a witness called by the defense in the Breivik trial. Afterwards he was let go from his position in the Norwegian company Det Norske Veritas or DNV, a worldwide risk management, ship classification, certification and training company, soon after the trial.
The Observer has this to say about what happened:
It turns out that Ole Jørgen Anfindsen was fired from his job shortly after testifying as an expert witness for the defense in the Breivik case in 2012. Anfindsen believes that it was due to his views on immigration and multiculturalism, and I’m inclined to believe him.
Like the rest of the Norwegian conservative community he was hounded in the press following the attack and indirectly blamed for having contributed ideologically to the attacks.
It should also be pointed out that discrimination based on religious or political beliefs is forbidden in Norway. Too bad he’s not a radical Muslim, eh? Then he could have taken Det Norske Veritas to the cleaners.
The translated article from Vårt Land (“Our Country” — a Norwegian Christian newspaper):
Controversial blogger lost his job
The author and blogger Ole Jørgen Anfindsen claims he lost his job in Det Norske Veritas (the Norwegian Veritas) because of his critical comments about immigration.
Last summer Ole Jørgen Anfindsen appeared as a witness in the July 22 trial in the Oslo District Court. He was summoned as an expert witness in his capacity as a prominent figure in the Norwegian immigration debate over several years. Anfindsen is particularly preoccupied with racial theories, and he has previously gone on record saying that differences in IQ levels between the various human races exist.
In an article published in the latest edition of the journal Samtiden [samtiden.no, article not found on Internet] it is revealed that Anfindsen lost his job as a researcher at the Norwegian Veritas (DNV) shortly after he was compelled to testified in the July 22 court case. No one in the management of DNV has directly stated that Anfindsen was fired due to statements made in the court, but Anfindsen believes that it is obvious that his public engagement, combined with negative media coverage of his testimony in court, was the main reason.
“I had become a hot potato that no one wanted to touch. At first I was informed that I was being transferred to a different department, later that this could no longer be achieved. I was then told by the management of Veritas that they had turned over every stone but unfortunately had no other options other than letting me go,” says Anfindsen to Vårt Land.
Unemployed for four months
According to Anfindsen he realized that something was about to happen in his workplace the day after the July 22 terror attack in 2011. It became more and more noticeable in the spring and early summer of 2012. Anfindsen says that being asked to leave his job, one that he had held for three and a half years, had a big emotional impact on him, but even so he still feels that DNV treated him with respect.
“DNV treated me in a dignified and professional manner. But at the same time it was hard for me to lose my job,” says Anfindsen.
He was encouraged by DNV to contact a lawyer, which the company would pay for. He also received a severance package and left the company last summer. Anfindsen was not fired as a result of any reduction-in-force layoff process.
Anfindsen was unemployed for four months before he started in a new job last November.
“It was nerve-racking to be without a job, and understandably difficult emotionally for my family as well. It’s not easy to apply for a new job when your name has been placed in the “rightwing extremist” category, and I feared my career was over. Luckily this story had a happy ending,” he says.
Has no regrets
When asked whether he has any regrets about anything that he has said or done, Anfindsen answers the question with a categorical “no”, despite the fact that it probably cost him his previous job.
“I don’t regret that I’ve been politically active for the past 20 years, that I have written a book and numerous articles. I do however have some regrets about the things that I said in the aftermath of the July 22 terrorist attack and certain things that I said in my trial testimony.”
“What impression would you like people to be left with after the trial?”
“It was a stressful situation to testify, and looking back I realize that I should have been more restrained and perhaps more careful with my choice of words. If I had been a little bit more composed I would have been able to better communicate my position: which is that Breivik is a criminal and a terrorist, that he is sane and that he should be punished.”
He does not regret that he testified in the trial, despite the media pressure and the fact that reactions after the trial were stronger than he had anticipated.
“I would prefer to have been spared the emotional strain. I was mentally exhausted afterwards. It took me several months to fully recover. At the same time I know that I did my best, an honest effort. For me the most important thing was to put the rule of law above my own personal desire to avoid unnecessary discomfort and pain.”
Veritas doesn’t wish to comment
The Norwegian Veritas (DNV) has read Ole Jørgen Anfindsen’s article in Samtiden and Anfindsen’s statements to Vårt Land. They are aware that Anfindsen believes that he was asked to quit because of his prominent role in the immigration debate. DNV does not wish to comment in detail, but they have sent the following e-mail to Vårt Land:
“Ole Jørgen Anfindsen and The Norwegian Veritas agreed on a severance package. Anfindsen himself mentions in his article in Samtiden that the negotiation of the terms of this severance package was conducted in an orderly and timely manner. We totally agree with that. One of the terms stipulated in the agreement is that the contents of this severance package were to be treated as confidential by both parties, as this concerns a personal relationship. Because of that we can not comment further on the agreement.”