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Iceland Porn Ban “Outdated”

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Iceland Porn Ban “Outdated”

Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament

Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

A soon-to-be MP for the Pirate Party is calling on Iceland to lift its ban on pornography, which she describes as outdated.

Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir will take a seat in Alþingi this autumn when Jón Þór Ólafsson stands down.

As reported recently, a Spanish ‘feminist porn’ director is in Iceland and has decided it would be a good place to make her next film—although probably started advertising for ‘queer’ couples to act in the film before realizing that the production or distribution of porn in Iceland technically carries a prison sentence of up to six months.

Ásta says that although the Icelandic criminal code is from 1940, it consists of two older law books combined and the blanket ban on porn went into the book unchanged since 1869. Ásta wrote her history thesis on the subject, so feels qualified to question the validity of the 150-year-old law which has only been amended once; in 2012, when child pornography was specifically mentioned.

“This is clearly censorship,” Ásta told Vísir. “It is worth considering whether the provision should be annulled or amended in some way. It’s clear that something like that would always be difficult as somebody will always want to keep the article as it stands now.”

The prospective MP says the law is already undermined to a certain extent by the fact that it is difficult to draw a legal line between pornography and erotica. When the law was made, she says, this year’s Free the Nipple campaign would certainly have been considered porn, but is not today.

“We simply live in different times to when the article was enacted and it has not stood the test of time,” Ásta says. “But thus far these are just my speculations and we have not undertaken any work on it.”

This latest conversation comes in the wake of Iceland’s recent legalization of blasphemy with the repeal of another law deemed outdated.

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