Russia: Activist Safely Out of Country

In Russia, TrialWatch published a preliminary report on the case against LGBTQ+ activist Yulia Tsvetkova, after which she was acquitted. Ms. Tsvetkova, a 26-year-old women’s and LGBTQ+ rights activist from Siberia, was charged with pornography for posting artistic images of female genitalia as part of a body-positive women’s empowerment campaign and faced up to six years in prison.

Our report details how the indictment against her was riddled with indicia of discrimination, suggesting for instance that the images she posted might create “a stereotype of female sexuality as an isolated phenomenon that exists outside of sexual relations with men.”  While the prosecution appealed her acquittal, and the Court of Cassation ultimately ordered her retrial, she was able to safely get out of the country in the meantime.

It’s especially urgent that the public be permitted to see at least some of the trial given the indictment’s references to ‘erroneous ideas about the sexual sphere of a person,’ which suggest a risk of discrimination at trial.

Stephen Townley Legal Director of TrialWatch