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The BBC's Tony Samstag in Oslo
"The royal family added their voices to a chorus of despair"
 real 28k

Thursday, 1 February, 2001, 21:51 GMT
Norwegians march against racism
Oslo rally
Oslo's largest crowd since World War II
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in protest at the killing of a black teenager which is being blamed on neo-Nazis.

The attack on 15-year-old Benjamin Hermansen in an Oslo suburb last Friday has shocked Norway and is being described as the country's first racially-motivated killing.

Tonight we join together to create a Norway for everyone regardless of race or colour

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
"The killer's knife took a life, but it also did something else: It cut into our basic values," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told the crowd.

Two neo-Nazis are being held in connection with the murder.

One, a 21-year-old man, has been charged with premeditated murder. The other, a girl of 17, is accused of complicity to murder.

Police released three other neo-Nazis detained after the attack, although they may still face charges. A sixth is being sought.

All are linked to a group known as the Boot Boys and were arrested in an Oslo flat filled with Nazi memorabilia.


The torch-lit demonstration, some 30,000-strong, was among the largest ever seen in Oslo.

Grieving friends
Flowers mark the scene of the killing
Benjamin's class mates led the march, carrying candles and banners denouncing racism.

Thousands more people attended anti-Nazi rallies in other cities.

"Tonight we join together to create a Norway for everyone regardless of race or colour," Mr Stoltenberg said. "We will fight this in every way we can."

The prime minister has described the murder as a watershed in the country's history.

Crown Prince Haakon, also present at the rally, has joined calls for a public campaign against racism, saying he was shaken by the murder.

Benjamin Hermansen - the son of a Norwegian woman and a Ghanaian man - was well known as a campaigner against racism.

Police say he was selected at random by his killers, who had simply gone out on the town in search of an appropriate victim.

He was repeatedly stabbed in the stomach and chest.

The authorities believe there are probably about 150 active hardcore neo-Nazis in Norway's population of 4.4 million.

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30 Jan 01 | Europe
Charges over Oslo 'racist' murder
23 Oct 99 | Europe
Swedes rally against racists
15 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Norway
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