Russia: feminist activist tried for pornography

MOSCOW – A Russian courtroom on Monday opened the trial of a feminist activist and artist accused of distributing pornography after she shared paintings depicting feminine anatomy on-line – a case consistent with the Kremlin’s conservative stance in favor of “Conventional household values” which has been extensively seen as controversial and sparked worldwide outrage.

Yulia Tsvetkova, 27, from the Far Japanese city of Komsomolsk-on-Amour, faces as much as six years in jail for expenses allegedly linked to her group on the favored social community VKontakte, the place colourful and stylized drawings of vaginas have been printed. Tsvetkova isn’t approved to offer particulars of the fees in opposition to her.

The primary listening to within the Komsomolsk-on-Amour courtroom on Monday comes a 12 months and a half after Tsvetkova’s first detention and eight months after the signing of Russian President Vladimir Putin. constitutional amendments that banned same-sex marriage and instructed the federal government to “protect conventional household values”.

Tsvetkova’s lawyer Irina Ruchko informed reporters after the listening to that Tsvetkova maintained her innocence and that she protection the workforce intends to show it in courtroom.

Tsvetkova led a toddler theater and was a powerful advocate for feminism and LGBT rights. She based an internet group, referred to as Vagina Monologues, encouraging followers to problem the stigma and taboo surrounding the feminine physique, and printed different individuals’s artwork there.

Final week, Amnesty Worldwide referred to as the case, which is heard behind closed doorways, “Kafkaesque nonsense” and urged the Russian authorities to drop all expenses in opposition to the activist who “was merely freely expressing her views to by means of artwork ”.

Tsvetkova’s mom, Anna Khodyreva, echoed the sentiment in an interview with the Related Press and mentioned the courtroom ought to dismiss the case. “Yulia has at all times been in opposition to pornography. … Feminists are in opposition to pornography as a result of it’s the exploitation of ladies’s our bodies, ”she mentioned.

Tsvetkova was detained in November 2019 and spent the following 4 months below home arrest. Her dwelling was raided, alongside along with her mom’s training studio for youngsters.

The activist was fined twice for breaking Russian legislation banning the dissemination of homosexual “propaganda” to minors. The courtroom ordered Tsvetkova to pay a effective of fifty,000 rubles ($ 780) in December 2019 for main an LGBT-themed on-line group, and an extra 75,000 rubles ($ 1,060) in July 2020 for a raffle. comes out in favor of LGBT households. The second effective was then decreased to 50,000 rubles.

Many public figures have expressed help, together with Russian state tv veteran Vladimir Pozner. Activists throughout Russia protested his lawsuit, artists devoted performances to him, and an internet petition calling for the fees to be dropped has garnered greater than 250,000 signatures.

The European Union delegation to Russia mentioned in a tweet final week that the bloc is “carefully following” the case in opposition to Tsvetkova and “apparently her persecution is linked to her public place as an LGBT activist.” The delegation referred to as on the Russian authorities to cease the prosecution of the activist.

The previous two years have been a check for Tsvetkova and her mom. Along with stress from the authorities, they are saying they’ve acquired loss of life threats and have been repeatedly harassed by foreigners. The Khodyreva Kids’s Schooling Studio has misplaced numerous purchasers. Tsvetkova’s kids theater now not exists – the frequent visits by legislation enforcement have been too painful for the youngsters, and it was determined to shut it, Khodyreva mentioned.

“It is terrifying. I am nonetheless trying on the door even now, ”Khodyreva informed the AP. “The police have damaged in so many occasions that … I am not ready to contain the youngsters on this chaos.”

Daria Litvinova, The Related Press

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