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Swedish Manga Translator's Child Porn Charges Overturned

posted on 2012-06-15 06:23 EDT
Supreme Court: criminalizing depictions of imaginary children would restrict freedoms

The Supreme Court of Sweden has overturned the child pornography charges of manga translator Simon Lundström on Friday, after ruling that manga depicting children in sexual poses are not child pornography.

A lower district court in Uppsala had convicted Lundström for 51 images on his computer in June 2010 and fined him 25,000 kronor (about US$3,900). The Svea Court of Appeal upheld the conviction on 39 of the images in January 2011, but lowered the punishment to 5,600 kronor (US$800). The Supreme Court then heard the case and overturned both lower courts' decisions.

Lundström told the TT news agency, "I'm obviously very relieved, in part because it makes life easier for me personally, but most of all I'm generally relieved for Sweden as a whole. It would have been very hard for me to relate to Sweden as a country if it turned out to be a place that prohibited certain expressions of the imagination."

The Supreme Court explained that while it considered the drawings to be pornographic depictions of children, they were nevertheless imaginary. "The criminalization of possession of the drawings would otherwise exceed what is necessary with regard to the purpose which has led to the restriction on freedom of expression and freedom of information."

The Local, a Swedish news source, reported that the "pastel-colored pictures [showing] children in different states of undress" were displayed on large screens in the Supreme Court. While the court ruled that one of the images could be considered a depiction of child ponography for being "sufficiently realistic," it also ruled that possession of the image was defensible.

Thanks to Sceleris for the news tip.

Source: The Local


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