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Swedish national library verifies child porn mags

David Landes · 15 Sep 2010, 08:53

Published: 15 Sep 2010 08:53 GMT+02:00

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The investigation, which relied on assistance of experts from the police’s special taskforce on child pornography, came after the library was reported last year for violating Sweden’s laws prohibiting the possession and distribution of child pornography.

The library, knows as Kungliga Biblioteket (‘The Royal Library’), has now asked for guidance from the government on how to proceed.

“We want to know if our librarians are breaking some law when they lend out material featuring child pornography,” library spokesperson Rickard Carlsson told Sveriges Television (SVT).

“One can also ask themselves if researchers should be allowed to view material like this in a reading room and who, in that case, can be considered a researcher.”

The existence of the National Library's collection of child pornography emerged after a visit by the writer Valentin Bart in November 2008.

Bart, who spent a year working in a pornographic book shop in central Stockholm in the 1970s, told The Local that he wanted to see if the law which requires the library to archive a copy of everything printed in Sweden, also applied to child pornography.

He found that not only did the library hold large quantities of pornography, featuring children as young as 10-years-old, but gaining access was also quite simple.

"All I did was sign up to check out books and send a letter explaining my reasons for wanting to view the material. Anyone could have done the same thing," Bart told The Local.

The collection at the library was built up in the years between 1971, when the possession, distribution and display of child pornography was legalized in Sweden, and 1980, when the law was repealed.

Story continues below…

All of the library’s pornographic material has been placed off limits since last year while investigators sifted through the hundreds of magazines in order to determine which issues contained child pornography.

While the 21 magazines determined to contain child pornography will continue to be off limits pending a decision from the governmebnt, the library said in a statement that its collection of “regular” pornography should once again available for viewing sometime this autumn.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:58 September 15, 2010 by byke
I wonder which prime minister would legalize child porn between 1971 and 1980?
10:35 September 15, 2010 by Åskar
The prime minister doesn't legalise anything, the parliament does. And besides, what's the newsworthyness of this? The National Library has an assignment to save everything and anything printed to posterity, including child pornography.
11:20 September 15, 2010 by nielsl
Same thing happened in NL with Nazi propaganda from the 40-45 period and mein kampf. Personally I don't know what to think about it. Yes these kind of prints are disgusting, but on the other hand researching might give us insights. Hard to draw lines.
12:14 September 15, 2010 by StuartM
It was Palme who was Prime Minister back then. I don't know that parliament intentionally legalised child porn, rather they legalised all porn without bothering to impose any age limits. But even in the very liberal 1970s it seems unbelievable that noone would have realised the potential for abuse or that parliment didn't react sooner to ban it again once the consequences became clear. Along with forced sterilisation of minorities and the disabled (which went on right up to the 70s) and the collaboration with the Nazis it's definitely one of the darker moments of Sweden's recent history.
18:05 September 15, 2010 by eZee.se
Keep the books as they are, don't touch them.

No special permission need be mailed in to see them or check them out.

Just keep a register of all those who want to right at the library... then later raid those sick f***s who check the books out and I'm guessing a large percentage of them will have the same in their home.

Prosecute them, throw away the key.

Rid society of its dregs, then again: child porn does not harm any corporation... so instead send the police to catch pimple faced 16 year olds who have downloaded an MP3 and throw them in jail for up to two years.

Priorities Sweden - please, get some.
18:24 September 15, 2010 by shiraz
One ought to reign in one's sanctimony and self righteousness before railing at a country or an institution of learning. Abusing children is ignoble and ought to be rejected; however once abuse has taken place it ought to be analyzed to come up with a cure. There is no need for witch hunts (of children or the people who are unfortunate enough to desire them). Child pornography when studied by scientists, aestheticists and fashion designers would allow humankind to create the next generation of humanity. It is ok to archive and study these things for the sake of betterment of society : to find out what is it about the underage that appeals and then to transmute that quality to the older folk. For example the Chinese have successfully created a race of people who are childlike in appearance even though they may be 40+ in age. How did they do it ? They probably embraced the admirable qualities which attract us to children : the flawless skin, the small features (face/nose etc.), the innocence , the openness to love , the desire and ability and the ease of loving, the selflessness, the virtues untainted by trauma brought on by experience (no emotional baggage), the slender hips / legs , the lanky frame, the freshness, the blonde hair, the light eyes etc. These are just some of the reasons we already admire the beauty in adults.
20:21 September 15, 2010 by ironman294
There should be witch hunts for people who desire them, tey are pond scum. What do you think witch hunts are for then?

The thing about Chinese creating a race of people, is the most stupid and retarded thing I have ever heard and ignorant and borderline racist I might ad. Talking about them like they were dolls.

A cure? Get rid of child pornography and prosecute people who produce such things and stick them in jail forever or execute them.

Find them and hint them, simple as that.

What is to study? It is sexual acts or provactive pictures of children. You don't need to see it to know what it is. such stupidity and perhaps the words coming from a pedophile themselves
22:04 September 16, 2010 by mojofat
"What is to study? It is sexual acts or provactive pictures of children. You don't need to see it to know what it is."

My thoughts exactly. And imagine the victims of that abuse who are now 30 and 40 year olds, perhaps with families of their own. You think they want people, friends or family, strolling down to the local library to see photos of them in those magazines?

This is pretty crazy. Yes, it should be against the law to sexually abuse children and then sell it. Yes, "evidence" of this abuse should be destroyed if it's not going to be used in a prosecution of the perpetrators. Is this really that difficult to figure out?
02:30 October 31, 2010 by Cyril2
But before, may be to ask those children, who now are in age, if they all feel themselves abused by that photo-sessions? Who is victim in the case? Hey! Teacher! Leaving kids alone!
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