Estonia Bans Story with Child Sex

So, news from Estonia. An author named Kaur Kender was prosecuted for writing a book titled “Untitled 12”. The prosecutor said it was child pornography under the statute’s definition, as it depicted graphic scenes of the sexual abuse of children. The defense argued that it had artistic value, and the purpose of the work was not pornographic. The lower court dismissed the charges, agreeing with the defense. However, this is what the prosecution had to say:

Prosecutor Lea Pähkel appealed the decision, and on Wednesday the matter was taken up by the Tallinn Circuit Court. In the first hearing, Pähkel said that the artistic value of Kender’s work did not matter in the case at hand, and continued on her original line of child pornography accusations.

Furthermore:

“The Penal Code doesn’t specify the aim of a piece of pornography, and doesn’t demand an assessment of what it contains, for example in terms of its potential to arouse pedophiles,” Pähkel said, adding that the story still described sexual acts involving children in a vulgar and intrusive way, and that in the light of this fact the Estonian Penal Code didn’t call for an assessment of the text in question to define whether or not it was literature or art.

This case demonstrates the difference between totalitarian countries in Europe, and the USA when it comes to these types of works. In the USA, a lack of serious artistic value and an appeal to the prurient interest when the work is evaluated as whole need to be proven by the prosecution and a work is protected until proven otherwise in court. The argument that the court in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition made when declaring the CPPA unconstitutional was that there was no children involved in the creation of virtual child pornography, that there was, at worst, a too indirect link to child sexual abuse in order for this category of speech to not be protected, and that because of this, it did not merit criminalization unless it was proven to be obscene. Then the law was amended by PROTECT, and a CPPA with an obscenity requirement was created. The situation is different in Estonia. The law does not mention anything about artistic value, or obscenity, and this leaves creators in that country extremely vulnerable to abuses from the state.

I tried looking for the book in Amazon, and it was unavailable. Apparently, Amazon took it down because of this incident. I hope that the prosecution loses the appeal, and that the book comes back.

Link to source: Child pornography case against writer continues after prosecutor’s appeal | News | ERR

Here is another link with a very interesting analysis of this case and its implications for art and literature in Estonia: This web page could not be loaded.

1 Like

It varies enormously from country to country. Norway for example has some of the most regressive and draconian laws when it comes to fiction of any country. While Finland, their next door neighbor, has some of the least restrictive with as far as I can tell, no prohibitions even on child sex dolls.

3 Likes

You are right. But Eatonia sucks as well as Norway because of this.

Depends on the country. Asia is far worse than the EU. Masturbating illegal in Indonesia, porn banned in China, Taiwan and South Korea. Germany had a similiar case like this one in 1990 and the highest court (constitutional court) said “porn and art don’t exclude each other” thus porn can also be art. Book was about a minor prostitute and can be bought. Also the law does not mention artistic value, just that art is free.

On 27 November 1990 the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany made what is now known as “The Mutzenbacher Decision”. The Court prefaced their verdict by referring to two other seminal freedom of expression cases from previous German Case Law, the Mephisto Decision and the Anachronistischer Zug Decision. The court ruled that under the German constitution (Grundgesetz) chapter about Freedom of Art (Kunstfreiheit), the novel Josefine Mutzenbacher was both pornography and art, and that the former is not sufficient to deny the latter. In plain English, even though the contents of Josefine Mutzenbacher are pornographic, they are still considered art and in the process of indexing the book, the aspect of freedom of art has to be considered.

1 Like

It’s not as bad in some countries. But in others it’s so bad that it deserves mention as totalitarian.

I also dont understand the prosecutors reasoning “it could arouse pedophiles” is it about protecting kids, or not wanting pedos to get aroused. Sounds like thought crime. By that logic kids must wear those arab full body covers

3 Likes

They hate pedophiles infinitely more than they care about children.

The actual effect on children is a distant afterthought if even a consideration at all.

2 Likes