Germany toughens child pornography laws

Berlin: Germany Friday toughened its sexual criminal regulations for better protection against child pornography, a media report said.

The amended law was passed by the Bundestag, the lower house of German parliament, and outlines a clearer definition of child pornography and stricter punishment for related crimes, Xinhua quoted German television ARD as saying.

Anyone who takes photos of naked children or young people for sale or exchange will be liable to prosecution, according to the law. In addition, the possession of images and videos showing minors "in unnatural, sexually-suggestive postures" is also to be deemed criminal.

At a debate ahead of the parliamentary vote Friday, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the amendment made it clear that "nobody in Germany could use the bodies of children or young people to earn money".

With the passing of the law, Germany has now reacted to a scandal that rocked the German government last year, when allegations arose that a Bundestag MP had possessed child pornography.

Sebastian Edathy, who resigned from parliament in February this year following the allegations, admitted to purchasing "some material" from a Canadian firm, insisting that it was "absolutely legal".

Edathy faced no federal charges at the time due to the unspecified definition of child pornography and issues regarding his parliamentary immunity. State prosecutors in Lower Saxony, where he resides, have since filed possession of child pornography charges. The investigation is ongoing.

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