Swedish state pre-examines indecent drawings

Carl-Michael Edenborg runs the Swedish publishing house Vertigo, which has published Swedish translations of nasty stuff from de Sade to Dennis Cooper since 1992. Next up is Pierre Louÿs. Edenborg reports (my translation) about the police’s pre-inspection of his book:

Today I talked to Björn Sellström at the child pornography unit of Rikskriminalpolisen (the national criminal police). He looked at the 1920s illustrations for Pierre Louÿs’ Trois filles de leur mère and held the view that it shouldn’t be any problem for us to print them in the Swedish edition.

It’s nice to be able to print the book in its original state, without taking away any images.

Yes, it’s nice. I think Edenborg’s blog post brilliantly exposes the state of freedom of expression in Sweden right now: Publishers asking for the approval of the “Reichskriminalpolizei” before they print drawings. Logically, text should be up next.

Update 8 nov 2010: Since this post reached a larger readership after featuring in today’s Journalista, I must point out that the publisher voluntarily contacted the police’s child porn experts. There is no requirement by law to do so. However, just the fact that publishers check with the police just to be sure, and that the police takes the inquiry seriously, is news enough according to me. Since we’re talking drawings.

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