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Protesters with NSR Nuorat and environmental organization called Nature and Youth have occupied the building since Thursday morning in a demonstration against 150 wind turbines still standing in the Fosen region of central Norway despite an October 2021 decision from the Norwegian Supreme Court deeming them illegal on the grounds of disturbing Sámi reindeer herders' cultural rights under international conventions.
Norway's Supreme Court deemed the licenses to build and operate the wind farms illegal in October 2021, finding they violated a 1966 treaty known as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has not commented on how it will act on the protest currently occupying its building, according to SVT NYHETER.
"I have apologized to the reindeer owners on behalf of the government," Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland said after meeting with the speaker of the 39-seat Sami Parliament, Silje Karine Mutoka. "They have been in a difficult and unclear situation for a long time. I'm sorry about that," he said.
Although the talks did not yield an agreement to resolve the wind farm dispute, Aasland said "that we are not ruling out any solutions at this time."
They once faced oppression of their culture, including bans on the use of their native tongue. Now they have their own parliaments, schools, newspapers and broadcasts in their own language on national radio and television. The nomadic people live mostly modern lifestyles, but still tend reindeer.
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