Manga images ‘not child porn’: police expert

The Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen) will discuss a case on Wednesday concerning whether the Japanese manga images found on a man’s computer should be viewed as child porn.

Björn Sellström, a criminal inspector of the National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalen) at the agency’s child porn unit, has taken the opportunity to speak out about the problems with concentrating on cartoons while there are everyday risks of the “real” thing in Sweden.

He fears that if the suspected man, Simon Lundström, is convicted, it will change the face of how police proceedings take place.

“I am doubtful of how a conviction would benefit those children who are actually suffering from real abuse which is being documented,” he wrote in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

“Those children who are victims of documented abuse deserve more than to be put in the same category as these ‘human-like creatures’,” he wrote in the paper.

Lundström was found to be in possession some 52 pornographic images on his computer.

However, Sellström has argued that the so-called “manga” images do not constitute porn, as the fantasy characters are not even completely humanoid – let alone children.

The inspector wrote that investigators need a shift in focus towards the real instances of abuse and porn, and argued that time and money were being wasted chasing manga while children were continually suffering.

The trial begins at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

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