How Russia uses porn charges against LGBT activist and trans woman

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12/09/2019

Human Rights Watch cites two recent examples — feminist LGBT activist Yulia Tsvetkova, under house arrest for allegedly distributing pornography such a body-positive drawings, and Michelle, a trans woman sentenced to three years in a men’s prison for putting sexual cartoons online. Michelle’s supporters worry that she will not survive the brutality of a male prison where she will not have access to hormone therapy. In part, Tsvetkova’s case involves Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, which forbids positive references to homosexuality where minors might see them. Michelle’s case involves alleged “pornography depicting minors” for posting nude Japanese-style anime cartoons that prosecution experts concluded depicted characters under at 14. Yulia Tsvetkova, 26, is from Russia’s far east region of Khabarovsk. Neither her mother nor lawyer know the factual basis for the criminal accusation, but if prosecuted and convicted, Yulia faces up to six years in prison. Police have repeatedly questioned Yulia about her work as an artist and youth theater director. In March, they questioned her about a series of body-positive drawings of naked women she posted on social media, alleging they were pornographic.

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