A notorious American right-wing extremist was flown out of Norway on Monday after spending two days in police custody.
Greg Johnson, who was in Norway to attend an event on ‘human biodiversity’ hosted by of the white nationalist Scandza Forum, was arrested on Saturday and held for two days before being deported first to Hungary and then to Portugal.
“It’s incomprehensible,” John Christian Elden, Johnson’s defence lawyer, told Norwegian state news broadcaster NRK. “He has done nothing wrong in Norway and only came to give a lecture.”
Norway should have stopped Johnson on arrival at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport, rather than keep him in custody for two days, he added, complaining that by doing so, the police had “effectively prevented any freedom of expression”.
Johnson has previously written that he supports the political reasons for the twin terror attack on Oslo and Utøya which left 77 people dead in 2011.
Norway’s police intelligence service PST said they had arrested Johnson out of fear that he might influence others to commit violent attacks.
“He stands for and communicates an extreme right-wing ideology,” PST spokesman Martin Bernsen told Norwegian media at a press conference after the arrest on Saturday. “There’s a danger that it can result in violence. He will therefore be sent out of the country.”
Bernsen later told the US broadcaster CNN that PST considered Johnson “to be a threat, not because of what he could do but because of his hate speech and his previously expressed support for Anders Breivik.”
Writing on his Counter Currents blog Johnson rejected the claim that he supported Breivik, stressing that he was opposed to violence as a means of achieving political ends.
“At the Scandza Forum in Sweden earlier this year, I gave an entire speech in which I addressed the evils of terrorism, and I have written numerous articles opposing it as well,” he said. “I have never supported Breivik’s crimes. These stories take quotes from my writings out of context, from an article in which I in no way defended Breivik’s crimes.”
Nearly 50 anti-fascist activists turned up to protest the Scandza Forum when it opened at Sinsen in Oslo on Saturday, with 29 arrested after they broke the police’s barricade around the premises.
The Forum, founded by the Faroese neo-pagan Fróði Midjord, is, according to the anti-racism campaign group Hope not hate, one of the main meeting places for the international extreme right.
The Oslo conference was about Human Biodiversity, a rebranding of long-discredited Victorian race science.
According to Hope not hate, Johnson has previously called for expelling non-whites and Jews, placing bounties on the heads of those who remain, and described ‘excessive kindness’ as ‘Hitler’s greatest flaw’.