국제앰네스티는 표현의 자유 및 정보의 자유를 주창하는 인권단체인 아티클19(ARTICLE 19)와 함께, 종교적 상징주의를 담은 작품 몇 점을 포함한 소련 및 이후 시기 미술품 전시회 포비든 아트 2006(Forbidden Art 2006)을 주최한 이들에 대한 기소를 취하할 것을 러시아 당국에 요청했다.
안드레이 예로피에프(Andrei Yerofeev) 전시회 기획자와 유리 사모두로프(Yuri Samodurov) 안드레이 사카로프 박물관 및 공공센터 전 관장은 2007년 모스크바에서 주최한 전시회를 통해 “혐오 혹은 적대감 선동”과 “인간 존엄성 폄하”를 했다는 혐의로 기소됐다.
평결은 7월 12일에 내려질 예정이며, 현재 두 피고인은 3년의 징역형 선고에 직면해 있다.
국제앰네스티 니콜라 덕워스(Nicola Duckworth) 유럽 및 중앙아시아 프로그램 국장은 “유리 사모두로프와 안드레이 예로피에 프에 대한 유죄 선고는 러시아 내 표현의 자유를 저해할 것이다”며 “이후 예술가들에게는 이러한 근본적인 권리를 행사했다는 이유만으로 당국의 일방적인 기소에 의해 억압당할 것이라는 강한 위협의 메시지가 될 것이다”고 말했다.
Russia must halt prosecution of exhibition organizers
9 July 2010
Amnesty International and ARTICLE 19 are urging the Russian authorities to drop the charges against the
organizers of Forbidden Art 2006, an exhibition which featured Soviet and post-Soviet art works, some of
which used religious symbolism.
Andrei Yerofeev, the exhibition curator, and Yuri Samodurov, then director of the Andrei Sakharov Museum
and Public Centre, were accused of “inciting hatred or enmity” and “denigration of human dignity” over the
exhibition, which was hosted at the Museum in Moscow in 2007.
The verdict is due on 12 July and the two defendants are facing three years imprisonment.
“A guilty verdict against Yuri Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeev would further undermine freedom of expression in Russia. It will send a strong signal to artists that they could be hounded by the authorities on arbitrary charges simply for exercising this fundamental right,” said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central
Asia Programme Director.
Forbidden Art 2006 brought together a number of censored art works that had been refused public display
at other exhibitions.
The exhibition featured pieces by some of Russia’s most well-known contemporary artists, such as Ilya Kabakov, Alexander Kosolapov, the group “Blue Noses”, Aleksandr Savko and Mikhail Roginskii. The exhibits included works that included Mickey Mouse instead of Jesus Christ in paintings portraying scenes from the Bible.
The prosecution claims that Yuri Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeev, then head of the department for contemporary art at the State Tretyakov Gallery, had arranged the exhibition in such a way that it incited
enmity and hatred and also denigrated the dignity of Christian groups, in particular Orthodox Christians.
Trial observers stressed that out of 134 prosecution witness statements only three witnesses had admitted to having seen the works.
One of them admitted in his own words, he had only “glanced” at the exhibition. None of the witnesses could name an individual who had been incited to hatred or enmity against the Orthodox faith after visiting the exhibition.
Anna Stavitskaya, the defence lawyer, told Amnesty International and ARTICLE 19 that no law had been violated. She said: “The prosecutor could not explain against whom ‘hatred or enmity’ had been incited and
whose dignity had been denigrated. People should not be put on trial for organizing an exhibition.”
Dr Agnes Callamard, Executive Director ARTICLE 19, said: “At international meetings, the Russian President
Dimitry Medvedev claims that Russia is changing. Sentencing Samodurov and Yerofeev for exhibiting art is
reminiscent of a Russia where artists were persecuted for their beliefs and views.“
“Freedom of art is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression. This right is applicable not only to “information” or “ideas” that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the state or any sector of the population. Such are the demands of pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is democratic society,”.
Neither Russian, nor international human rights law permit freedom of expression to be restricted or prohibited simply on the grounds that some people find the views expressed offensive or
Moreover, laws forbidding incitement to hatred should not be used to limit freedom of expression in order
to protect or support a particular religious group or point of view as such. Rather, they should seek to limit forms of expression which have the potential to cause harm to individuals and which are incompatible with the underlying values of human rights.
Some of the leading Russian cultural figures and human rights activists are declaring their support for
Andrei Yerofeev and Yuri Samodurov.
A well-known Russian gallery owner, Marat Gelman, has already said that if a guilty verdict is handed down, he will immediately exhibit “Forbidden Art 2006” in his gallery.
Yurii Samodurov, together with curator Ludmila Vasilevskaia, had previously received a conditional sentence after a conviction for inciting hatred following the organization of exhibition entitled Caution! Religion! in 2003, also at the Sakharov Museum in Moscow. Yuri Samodurov and Ludmila Vasilevskaia took the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
It has been communicated to the Russian Government in January 2010. Amnesty International and ARTICLE 19 considered that this earlier exhibition did not incite hatred either, and that Yurii Samodurov and Ludmila
Vasilevskaia were sentenced solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
The Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Centre opened in May 1996 to commemorate victims of political repressions in the USSR and also to promote human rights and democratic values in Russia.