©Yulia Tsvetkova / Facebook

Russia: Court upholds acquittal of feminist artist on trial for ‘pornography’

Reacting to the news that a court in Russia has upheld the acquittal of feminist artist Yulia Tsvetkova, who was cleared in July of charges of “disseminating pornographic materials” after producing body-positive drawings of vaginas, Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Russia Director, said:

“The decision to uphold the acquittal of Yulia Tsvetkova is a rare example of justice in today’s Russia. The repressive architecture built by Vladimir Putin’s administration over the last two decades aims to stage absurd trials based on spurious accusations – it’s rare that anyone escapes the clutches of this system.

The repressive architecture built by Vladimir Putin’s administration over the last two decades aims to stage absurd trials based on spurious accusations – it’s rare that anyone escapes the clutches of this system

Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Russia Director

“For three years, Yulia Tsvetkova has faced house arrest, travel restrictions, fines and reprisals simply for exercising her right to freedom of expression. Her inclusion on the infamous ‘foreign agents’ list has also deprived her of the opportunity to work with children and educational organizations. She can breathe slightly easier now that she no longer faces a prison term for promoting the rights of women and LGBTI people.”

Background

On 22 November, an appeal court in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia’s Far East, upheld an earlier decision in Yulia Tsvetkova’s case. In July, a court acquitted Tsvetkova of “production and dissemination of pornographic materials” over her body-positive drawings of vaginas that were published in Russian social media network VKontakte.

She was arbitrarily detained on 20 November 2019 and remained under house arrest until 16 March 2020.