RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Author)
The prosecutor at a high-profile trial in Siberia has asked a court to sentence LGBT activist and artist Yulia Tsvetkova to three years and two months in prison for drawings and other artwork depicting women's bodies that she posted online.
Tsvetkova, 29, is charged with producing and distributing pornographic material for administering a page on social media called The Vagina Monologues, which showed abstract art of female genitalia.
The artist, an activist who draws women's bodies, is known for her advocacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues.
Tsvetkova's mother, Anna Khodyreva, wrote on Facebook that the prosecutor made the request for a lengthy prison sentence at a trial being held at a court in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on June 14.
Tsvetkova's trial began in April last year after a nearly 1 1/2- year investigation, during which she was fined for spreading LGBT "propaganda" and put under house arrest. In May last year she launched a hunger strike to protest against the case against her.
The drawn-out trial is ostensibly being held behind closed doors because prosecutors need to show evidence in the form of artistic images and drawings of women's bodies.
Amnesty International has said the case against Tsvetkova amounts to political repression and "Kafkaesque absurdity."
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