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Friday, October 7, 2011

Child porn in open access at Swedish National Library

RT

Published: 22 April, 2009, 10:19



Sweden’s legacy of lax attitudes towards sex has come back to haunt the country’s National Library, which has been found to house large quantities of child pornography in its collection.
While it’s widely known that a wave of liberal thinking swept across Sweden in the 1960s, fewer people are aware that it led to the legalization of child pornography.
When Valentin Bart published his latest novel he had to give four copies to the Royal Library in Stockholm. They archive everything that was ever printed in Sweden. And it’s available for anyone – with a membership card and an idea of what they are looking for.
“If you look at their database, you find titles like ‘bambino’ or ‘Lolita’, etc.,” Bart shares of his discoveries. “What I saw were young boys aged between ten and twelve involved in different sexual activities.”
Child porn was legal in Sweden between 1971 and 1980. Magazines from that era have been stored in the Royal Library for over 30 years. Bart says the staff knew what they were lending out, but no one ever raised the alarm.
“We worry people have been using these images in ways other than for academic research. The library served pedophiles, and it is guilty of a crime, a crime against children, and we want society to know that,” said Birgitta Holmberg from the Association of abused children.
The Library had no comment. Police are now investigating the issue.
In response to what the library has called a delicate issue, access to this particular collection has been closed. The management says they are reviewing their lending policy.
Many are beginning to wonder whether a state institution like the Royal Library could be exempt from the law. Anyone who produces, purchases, or is in possession of pornographic images of children risks up to six years behind bars in Sweden.
The Queen is a staunch advocate of children's rights – but the Royal Family has yet to comment.
Bart’s investigation didn’t make the headlines in Sweden. The writer claims it was hushed up as it made many people uncomfortable. But he says facing the embarrassing pages of national history is everyone’s duty, just like reporting a pedophile next door.

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