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Russia: Dozens detained at protest supporting LGBT artist

MOSCOW (AP) — Police in Moscow detained dozens of demonstrators protesting a pornography charge brought against a Russian LGBT rights activist and artist. During Saturday's demonstration, participants stood in line to picket one at a time in support of Yulia Tsvetkova, who faces up to six years in prison, if convicted.

Tsvetkova, of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia’s far east, faces the charge because of posting artwork depicting female genitalia on the popular social network Vkontakte. The OVD-Info group that monitors political arrests in Russia said at least 38 people were detained and taken to a police station. It was not clear if they would be charged.

Russian law permits single pickets to be held without permission, but police have arrested other picketers in recent weeks on the grounds that they violated the ban on mass gatherings imposed during the country's coronavirus outbreak.

Tsvetkova has conducted sex education classes and ran a theater. She was fined last year for violating Russia’s law against disseminating gay “propaganda” to minors and was under house arrest from November until March.

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