Lethal shooting at a gay bar in Oslo would not stop the fight against “discrimination, prejudice and hatred”, the Norwegian prime minister said when the country paid tribute to the victims of the attack early Saturday morning.
The altar and the corridors of the cathedral of the Norwegian capital were draped with rainbow flags for a special memorial service on Sunday with the participation of mourners, ministers, church leaders and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.
Jonas Gahr Støre, dressed in black, said in an address at the memorial that thousands of people had spontaneously paraded through the streets of Oslo with rainbow flags and laid flowers on the spot despite the city’s planned Pride events being canceled.
“During the day, the city was full of people who wanted to speak out, about grief and anger, but also about support and solidarity and the will to continue to fight, for each individual’s right to live a free life, a safe life. life, said Støre.
“These atrocities remind us of this. This fight is not over. It is not safe for dangers. But we will win it, together. The shooting put an end to the Pride march, but it has not put an end to the fight to get end of discrimination, prejudice and hatred. “
The leader of the Norwegian Protestant Church, Olav Fykse Tveit, said that although it has long been against equal rights for same-sex couples, it has learned. “Diversity is a gift, a wealth, and many gay people have an ability to love that we do not have,” he said. “Coal can not kill love.”
Two men in their 50s and 60s died in the shooting episode, which took place just after 1am on Saturday in and outside the London Pub, a bar in Oslo’s nightlife district popular with the LGBTQ + community, while 21 others were injured, including 10 seriously.
On Sunday, the police started a new attempt to interrogate the suspect, a 42-year-old Norwegian-Iranian named Zaniar Matapour by the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK and several other local media.
Authorities have described the suspect as a radicalized Islamist with a history of violence and threats and a history of mental illness. Norway’s PST security service said the shooting was “an act of extreme Islamist terror”.
It said that the suspect, who is charged with murder, attempted murder and terrorism, had been known to the agency since 2015 as a member of an Islamist network in Norway. He will undergo a comprehensive psychiatric examination in the coming days, the police say.
Matapour’s lawyer, John Christian Elden, said that an attempt to question his client on Saturday had ended shortly after it began when the suspect refused to have the interview recorded “because he thought the police would manipulate it”.
On Saturday, PST raised the country’s threat level from moderate to “extraordinary”, with a significantly increased police presence in Oslo. Police have said it is unclear whether the suspect’s motive was hatred of sexual minorities.
NRK reported late on Saturday that Matapour had been in contact with a well-known Islamic extremist living in Norway, Arfan Bhatti, who earlier this month posted on social media a picture of a burning rainbow flag and an incitement to kill gays.