Moderate Party MP Maria Abrahamsson chose on Wednesday to tell Swedish police that she may have child pornography at home. She told them that she had a copy of the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, which last weekend contained an illustration showing a child surrounded by half-naked men.
Abrahamsson is a known critic of the current Swedish law, which makes no distinction between photographs depicting sexual violation or assault of a child or children and illustrations showing similar scenarios.
According to the Svenska Dagbladet (SVD) newspaper, Abrahamsson petitioned parliament last autumn to amend the text of the law. She argued it should distinguish between photography and non-photographic art.
Her latest attempt to raise awareness on the issue follows DN’s publication on Saturday of a reproduction of a painting by US artist Tala Madanis, whose work is currently on display at an exhibition in Malmö. The artwork shows a child in a crib surrounded by men with their genitals pointing at the child.
The newspaper’s editor Peter Wolodarski defended the decision to publish the reproduction.
“I agree that Swedish law is unclear and problematic,” he was quoted as saying.
“But the picture in question has nothing to do with child pornography crimes. We wouldn’t have published it if we thought it broke the law.”
Abrahamsson, meanwhile, wants Swedish police and prosecutors to investigate whether she has broken the law by having a copy of the paper at home.
SvD reported on Wednesday that the police had opened an investigation into the case.
Abrahamsson originally got involved in the debate when Swedish manga translator Simon Lundström was convicted of child pornography crimes because of images in his cartoon library at home.
Lundström was eventually acquitted when Sweden’s Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) looked at the case in June 2012, but the ruling still stated that illustrations can be considered in breach of child pornography laws.