Overview of Julia Tsvetkova’s case
On October 24th, 2019 the law enforcement of Komsomolsk-na-Amure a criminal case was brought against 26-year-old LGBT activist, feminist and producer of children’s theatre “Mrak” Julia Tsvetkova. The criminal case was instituted according to the article on distribution of porhongraphic materials (point “b”, part 3, article 242 of Criminal Code) on the social media platform “VKontakte”, where Julia was an administrator of an online group “Vagina Monologues”. The group was dedicated to body positivity and sex education. The aforementioned criminal article provides for a penalty of a prison term of up to six years.
Police met the activist at a train station, when she was coming back from a work trip. Ms. Tsvetkova was informed of the institution of a criminal case and was taken to be interrogated. At first Julia was questioned as a witness. However, after she had refused to testify, she was considered a suspect. The change was motivated by the fact that Julia is a lesbian and a sex coach who actively leads related advocacy and promotional activities.
On November 20th, 2019 the apartment where Julia lives with her mother, was searched by police. During the search a computer, a camera, a notebook, a phone, flash drives and gender-related brochures were seized. Searches were also conducted at children’s theatre studio “Mrak”. Later Julia was interrogated as a suspect, travel ban was selected as a measure of restraint against her.
On November 23rd, 2019 Ms. Tsvetkova was apprehended for the violation of the travel ban. When apprehended and transported Julia was subjected to psychological pressure. The measure of restraint was changed to house arrest for a term of two month. She was obligated to wear an ankle bracelet and was prohibited to leave her residence. After a month of house arrest Julia was allowed daily hour long walks within 500 meter radius from her building.