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Germany slow to enact EU rule outlawing child porn, activists say

Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:46 PM

BERLIN, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- German activists and government agencies are calling for tougher laws against child pornography, noting Germany has been slow to enact European Union rules.

Although possessing or distributing child pornography is punishable in Germany by up to five years' imprisonment, those with pictures of naked children, without evidence of a sexual act, typically avoid prosecution, German broadcaster Deutsch Welle reported Friday.

Determining whether a photograph is sexually provocative is a gray area that depends on how the child is posed, it added, noting a recent child pornography scandal involving lawmaker Sebastian Edathy has the country questioning the laws.

Germany's Child Protection Agency has called for tougher laws to outlaw the sale of photographs of naked children.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas has pledged a tougher law, saying, "A total ban on photos of naked children is overdue."

Matthias Katsch of Square Table, a group representing victims of sexual abuse, said, "It's high time this child abuse is stopped. In Germany, we've been so busy pondering the rights of the perpetrators that we've forgotten about the victims."

Germany has not yet enacted 2011 guidelines adopted by the European Union that include a ban on photos of naked children, Deutsch Welle said.

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