Swedish newspaper reported for child porn

Peter Vinthagen Simpson
Peter Vinthagen Simpson - [email protected]
Swedish newspaper reported for child porn

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter ( and state broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) have been reported to the police for publishing child porn in the form of manga cartoons, prohibited under Swedish law.


The report was submitted by a Stockholm man together with examples of the cartoons published on and depicting two men having sex in the background, and one of an obviously under-age girl exposing herself to an older man who becomes so turned on that he suffers a nose bleed.

Dagens Nyheter editor-in-chief Gunilla Herlitz on Wednesday responded to the report by arguing that there were "no grounds for a police report".

"It was explained quite thoroughly in the article that there were no children in the pictures," she said.

Herlitz explained the publication of the pictures in the context of a discussion over the classification of cartoons as pornography after the conviction of a well-known Swedish translator of manga comics for possession of drawings depicting children engaged in sexual acts.

"This article was an attempt to explain how the guilty ruling had come about, as it had received a great deal of criticism."

Among the critics of current Swedish legislation cover child pornography which classifies cartoons as pornography, are the Pirate Party.

The Local reported last week that Pirate Party chairperson Rick Falkvinge had been forced to retract comments in a radio interview taken to mean that the party advocated the legalization of the possession of child pornography.

While the party later distanced itself from the comments, vice-chairperson Anna Troberg told The Local that the Pirate Party wants to see legal resources directed at tackling "real child pornography" and to stop making criminals of large numbers of other innocent people.

"The current law is wasting resources chasing pretend criminals and should be focusing on real child pornography, with real children involved, not manga comics, holiday pictures and so on," she said.

The current law on child pornography was passed in 1999 and was last updated as late as July 1st 2010 to cover "systematically viewing". The law covers even drawings of fictional characters and according to Herlitz is only now being tested in the courts.

"Where does the line go for when a drawing can lead to a charge for child pornography? It is not crystal clear in any way. Now the ruling against the translator has been appealed and will go to a higher court, this is the interesting aspect of this story," Gunilla Herlitz said.


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