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LGBT Activist Charged With Pornography for Body-Positive Vagina Drawings

Amnesty International has labeled Yulia Tsvetkova a prisoner of conscience. Vkontakte / julieflower

Authorities in Far East Russia charged an LGBT rights activist with distributing pornography for posting drawings of vaginas on social media, the activist told Russian media Tuesday.

Yulia Tsvetkova, 27, had been under house arrest from November to March in the remote city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur before authorities lifted her house arrest. Tsvetkova faces up to six years in jail for posting the images on her page dedicated to body positivity that she said she maintains as a hobby.

Tsvetkova told OVD-Info, a website that tracks detentions at political protests, that authorities pressed charges that carry a jail term of between two and six years against her. She declined to give further details, saying she has signed an agreement not to disclose information about a preliminary investigation. 

“I’m bombarded with ‘How are you?’ questions,” Tsvetkova wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

“I’m, as never before, ready to go all the way, to fight until the very last. I’ve never felt stronger,” she said.

Tsvetkova was previously fined for violating a controversial Russian law that prohibits gay propaganda toward minors.

As part of her activism, Tsvetkova hosted lectures for the LGBT community and held classes on sex education, which is prohibited at Russian schools.

Tsvetkova said she believes the authorities are using the pornography charge as a pretext for cracking down on LGBT activists because it is easy to pin on people and carries a long sentence.

She has also reported receiving death threats from a homophobic group that encourages people to “hunt down” sexual minorities.

Amnesty International has labeled Tsvetkova a prisoner of conscience and said the case against her was absurd. 

Dozens of Tsvetkova’s supporters have staged pickets across several Russian cities following the news.

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