Siberian Court Acquits LGBT Artist Charged In 'Pornography' Case

KOMSOMOLSK-ON-AMUR, Russia -- A court in Siberia has acquitted LGBT activist and artist Yulia Tsvetkova in a high-profile case over drawings and other artwork depicting women's bodies that she posted online.

Tsvetkova’s mother, Anna Khodyreva, told RFE/RL on July 15 that the central district court in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur found Tsvetkova innocent in a trial that was held behind closed doors because prosecutors said they needed to show the images as evidence.

The acquittal will come into force in 10 days unless authorities appeal the ruling.

Last month, prosecutors said they were seeking a conviction and a 38-month prison sentence in the case.

Twenty-nine-year-old Tsvetkova was charged with producing and distributing pornographic material for administering a social media page called The Vagina Monologues that showed abstract art resembling female genitalia.

The artist, an activist who draws women's bodies, is known for her advocacy of LGBT issues.

Tsvetkova’s trial began in April 2021 after a nearly 1 1/2-year investigation during which she was fined for spreading LGBT "propaganda" and put under house arrest. In May of last year, she launched a hunger strike to protest the case against her.

Amnesty International has said the case against Tsvetkova amounts to political repression and “Kafkaesque absurdity.”