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Author`s name Ольга Савка

Russian Writer Charged with Distributing Pornography

Writer Bayan Shiryanov says that his book was just a piece of literary work

Writer Kirill Vorobyov, who is more known in Russia as Bayan Shiryanov, has been charged with distributing pornography. His case was closed in March of the current year, but it was then resumed again according to linguistic examinations of his novel "The Lower Pilotage." Alexander Glushenkov, the writer's lawyer, told a correspondent of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper that Bayan Shiryanov would most likely be found guilty.

Elements of pornography in "The Lower Pilotage" were found by critic Nikolay Pereyaslov, a member of the Russian Union of Writers. As a result of the examination, he came to conclusion that "the book by Bayan Shiryanov contains a lot of pornographic episodes, obscene and vulgar descriptions of sexual life." The critic believes that Shiryanov's representation of the modern Russian society can undermine the cultural authority of Russia both in the country and abroad. Yet, the literary examination that was conducted by the Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences said that the novel was just a piece of creative work, which did not match the notion of pornography. On the other hand, Nikolay Pereyaslov believes that literature forms the consciousness of the society: "I am not trying to say that this author has no right for explicit stories, but I do think that one may not publish such books."

Contradictory conclusions eventually resulted in a legal dispute. Criminal proceedings on the case of the literary pornography were instituted by the pro-presidential movement "Going Together." The movement's members are happy with the fact that the case has been sent to court. Konstantin Lebedev, the press secretary of the movement said: "The situation is developing properly. When we instituted criminal proceedings, we wanted to show literary hooligans their place in the modern world of writing. We won't stand porn and dirty language in literature. We want such books to be available only in sex shops, wrapped in the plastic package. This is a very important matter for us."

Bayan Shiryanov and his lawyer say that a writer has a right for artistic freedom. Lawyer Sergey Glushenkov said that paragraph 242 of the Russian Criminal Code - the illegal distribution of pornography - is rather vague, "it does not give a clear definition of pornography." In addition to that, the lawyer believes that that sentence will not be severe, although the trial will definitely be demonstrative. Writer Bayan Shiryanov stated that the situation with a trial was absolutely insane: "I am a law-abiding citizen and I will go to court, but I will defend my right to write whatever I want to. I do not think that a critic may tell me what to do."

On the photo: Bayan Shiryanov

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