Russian Activist Faces Unfounded Pornography Fees


Yulia Tsvetkova, speaking about her youth theater challenge “Pink and Blue”.

© Yulia Tsvetkova/VK

A Russian feminist and LGBT activist is below home arrest for allegedly distributing pornography. It’s yet one more instance of Russia utilizing unfounded accusations and obscure legal guidelines to intimidate sure activists.

Yulia Tsvetkova, 26, is from Russia’s far east area of Khabarovsk. Neither her mom nor lawyer know the factual foundation for the legal accusation, but when prosecuted and convicted, Yulia faces as much as six years in jail.

Police have repeatedly questioned Yulia about her work as an artist and youth theater director. In March, they questioned her a couple of collection of body-positive drawings of bare girls she posted on social media, alleging they have been pornographic. Police additionally questioned Yulia a couple of youth theater efficiency on gender stereotypes. They cited a suspected violation of Russia’s discriminatory “homosexual propaganda” legislation, which bans spreading details about LGBT points to kids, though the play didn’t cowl LGBT points. Yulia subsequently closed the theater out of safety considerations.

In October, police once more questioned Yulia on pornography allegations relating to a social media group she manages that options paintings depicting vulvas and requires an finish to taboos round vaginal anatomy and menstruation.

After police questioned Yulia once more on November 20, they informed her she was a legal suspect, though it was not clear relating to which challenge. Two days later, police arrested Yulia for violating an order to stay in her metropolis. The next week, police reportedly tried to steer a toddler who performed in Yulia’s youth theater to request sufferer standing in a legal case towards her.

The following day, police escorted Yulia to courtroom, the place she discovered that she faces further administrative prices stemming from two different social media teams she manages – about LGBT and feminist subjects, respectively. Authorities declare the teams’ actions violate the “homosexual propaganda” legislation, though their content material is marked as 18+. If Yulia is discovered responsible, she faces a most 100,000 ruble positive.

Yulia is just not alone in dealing with repercussions of this kind. Earlier this 12 months, Russian authorities used the “homosexual propaganda” legislation to dam two main LGBT on-line teams. And in two different circumstances, authorities took the extra critical step of threatening legal prosecution towards individuals in relation to LGBT points.

Yulia’s mom, Anna Khodyreva, informed me: “This case is an instance of a brilliant sensible woman who didn’t wish to stay based on the foundations of everybody else on this grim metropolis.” Nonconformism, nonetheless, isn’t a criminal offense.

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