The Legal Affairs Committee did not support the bill allowing child pornography in written texts

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The Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) moved to reject at the first reading the bill that would allow to publish child pornography in written texts. 6 members of the Committee voted in favour of the motion and 3 voted against.

The purpose of the bill, that was initiated by 13 members of the Riigikogu, is to amend § 178 of the Penal Code, which deals with manufacture of works involving child pornography and making child pornography available. Pursuant to the bill, manufacture or making available of pictures or other visual works depicting child pornography would not be punished if such a work has significant artistic, scientific, historical or political value.

Member of the Riigikogu Oudekki Loone, who introduced the bill, said that written texts dealt with characters that were fictitious, or the fantasy of a writer, and this could not be criminal. “But when the text describes a real situation, then it can be used in a criminal case as an evidence of such real actions,” Oudekki Loone said.

“The bill is motivated by the so-called Kender’s case, in which the court dispute is still going on. Therefore the bill has been submitted too hastily, without waiting for the judgement of the court,” Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee Jaanus Karilaid said. “All texts that contain child pornography cannot be called art.”

The Ministry of Justice does not support the motion of members of the Riigikogu, according to which manufacture of child pornography would not be a crime in the situations where it has artistic, scientific, historical or political value.

The Bill on Amending Section 178 of the Penal Code (422 SE) was initiated by members of the Riigikogu Oudekki Loone, Igor Gräzin, Barbi Pilvre, Eerik-Niiles Kross, Artur Talvik, Valdo Randpere, Remo Holsmer, Helmut Hallemaa, Marika Tuus-Laul, Toomas Vitsut, Heidy Purga, Marianne Mikko andHardi Volmer. The first reading of the Bill will take place at the 16 June plenary sitting of the Riigikogu.

Krishan Chand

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