Dutch court rejects ban of paedophile party -ANP
Reuters Monday July 17, 11:43 AM
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch court said on Monday a political party formed by paedophiles could not be banned as it had the same right to exist as any other party, the ANP news agency ANP said.
The Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity party (PNVD) was launched in May and campaigns for a cut in the age of consent from 16 to 12 and the legalisation of child pornography and sex with animals.
A court in The Hague rejected a bid by a group campaigning against paedophiles to ban the party.
The judge said the Solace group had not made convincing arguments for an injunction: "They only want to express their moral concern. That is by no means sufficient to ban a party," ANP quoted the judge as saying.
The PNVD says it wants to lift the taboo on paedophilia which it said had intensified since the 1996 Marc Dutroux child abuse scandal in neighbouring Belgium.
The Netherlands, which already has liberal policies on soft drugs, prostitution and gay marriage, has been shocked by the plan. An opinion poll showed that 82 percent wanted the government to do something to stop the new party.
The party wants to allow possession of child pornography and supports broadcasting pornography on daytime television, with only violent pornography limited to the late evening.
Young children should be given sex education and youths aged 16 and up should be allowed to appear in pornographic films and prostitute themselves. Sex with animals should be allowed although abuse of animals should remain illegal, it says.