The trial against Yulia Tsvetkova, an artist and activist from Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Russian Far East, is coming to an end. On June 14, 2022, the prosecution requested a jail term of three and a half years under the absurd charges of “production and dissemination of pornography” for posting online her body-positive drawings of women’s bodies. The final hearing is expected to take place on July 12, 2022. Yulia Tsvetkova will make her final statement and the sentence will be published soon after.
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Boris Viktorovich Kononenko
Prosecutor of Komsomolsk-on-Amur
34 Krasnogvardeiskaya street
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 298 5700 I Fax: 202 298 5735
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
I am writing to express my deepest concern regarding the prosecution of Yulia Tsvetkova
under false charges of “production and dissemination of pornographic materials” (Article 242(3b) of the Russian Criminal Code) as her sentencing approaches and worryingly on June 14, 2022, the prosecution requested a jail term of three and a half years.
Yulia Tsvetkova is an artist from Komsomolsk-on-Amur who has been continually targeted over the years for her human rights activism. Since 2019, she has been prosecuted for her artistic work depicting bodies of women, and faced harassment by police, including repeated house and workplace searches. She spent almost four months under house arrest until March 2020 and has been under travel restrictions since. She has committed no recognizable criminal offence, which has been confirmed by some respected Russian legal experts during her trial.
Yulia Tsvetkova has also repeatedly faced administrative proceedings and fines under the discriminatory “gay propaganda” legislation (Article 6.21 of the Code of Administrative Offences). She has faced homophobic threats, abuse, and harassment, over the phone, via social networks, and by mail, as has her mother.
Yulia Tsvetkova is facing reprisals for exercising her right to freedom of expression, which violates both Russia’s Constitution and its obligations under international human rights law.
In light of the above, I urge you to immediately drop the criminal case and end all administrative proceedings against Yulia Tsvetkova.