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Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Dutch will allow paedophile group
A Dutch court has turned down a request to ban a political party with a paedophile agenda.

Judge HFM Hofhuis ruled that the Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity Party (PNVD) had the same right to exist as any other political party.

The PNVD was formed by three paedophiles in May, prompting outrage in Dutch society.

It seeks to lower the age of sexual consent from 16 to 12 and legalise child pornography and sex with animals.

"Freedom of expression...including the freedom to set up a political party can be seen as the basis for a democratic society," Judge Hofhuis said in the ruling, according to the Associated Press news agency.

"It is the right of the voter to judge the appeal of political parties," he said.

The ruling also noted that the party had not committed a crime.

PNVD's opponents had sought the ban, arguing that children had the right not to be confronted with the party's platform.


The PNVD - which has only three known members - says its aim is to break taboos and fight intolerance.

It says it wants paedophilia to be freely discussed, arguing that a ban just makes children curious.

They claim the subject has been a taboo since the 1996 Marc Dutroux child abuse scandal in Belgium.

They also want to break the "negative" stigma surrounding paedophilia by getting into parliament.

But the PNVD says it is not just a one-issue party.

It also wants children from the age of 12 to be able to vote. It promotes the legalisation of hard and soft drugs and free train travel for all.

In order to take part in elections set for 22 November, the PNVD needs to submit a list of candidates and signatures of at least 30 supporters.

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