Designer of Controversial T-Shirt Faces Penalty

Source: HRO.org (info), 27/09/12 

· Freedom of expression  · Artistic freedom  · Novosibirsk region

Artyom Loskutov, the Novosibirsk artist who owes a great deal of his fame to his “Pussy Riot” T-shirts, will probably be forced to appear in court and to pay a fine for his artwork. The hearing has been fixed for the 23rd October.

According to Agora Human Rights Association, which represents the artist’s interests, the police have brought charges against him of  “undertaking entrepreneurial activity without state registration as an individual entrepreneur or as a corporation, and for trading in undesignated areas.” 

“According to Loskutov, the charges were initially filed under Article 14.1 of the Russian Criminal Code, and the trial was arranged to take place in a magistrates court on the 23rd October 2012”, states an Agora press-release. “Later, Colonel Aleksandr Muzalev (whom Loskutov is accused of offending with his publication “How I Spent the Night in a Cell”) brought forward another document, according to which the civil activist faces an additional fine of up to 1,000 roubles. The case against him for breaching Novosibirsk region legislation regarding trade in undesignated areas will be heard on 3rd October; however, this will not take place in a court, but at the district administration.”

The T-shirts are decorated with an ‘icon’ (very much resembling the Virgin Mary) in a colourful balaclava and with the slogans “Mother of God, banish Putin” and “Freedom to Pussy Riot”. This is the very same T-shirt which was the subject of a recent scandal when ‘Orthodox activists’ attacked a young man and ripped off his T-shirt at the Paveletsky train station in Moscow.
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