KIEV, Ukraine—The government in Ukraine has now pushed through a law that makes pornography illegal—unless used for medicinal purposes.
The law, as previously reported by AVN.com, is certainly oppressive and, as opponents have noted, fails to define what actually constitutes pornography. Critics argue it could encompass all forms of erotic art or perhaps even mildly titillating material of any kind.
Of course, Eastern Europe has never been a hotbed of free speech, but the move in Ukraine is seen as one giant step backward to not the 20th century but the 19th.
The Register reports that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko recently signed off on the new measure, which makes possession of pornography—not violent extreme porn or child porn, but any and all porn—a criminal offense. Violations will bring a fine of 850 hryvnia ($110, which is a lot of money in Ukraine) and/or up to three years in prison.
Porn in Ukraine is still defined—vaguely—by prior legislation in 2003, which states, translated roughly from Ukrainian, "Pornography is vulgar, candid, cynical, obscene depiction of sexual acts, pursuing no other goal, the explicit demonstration of genitals, unethical elements of the sexual act, sexual perversions, realistic sketches that do not meet moral criteria and offend honor and dignity of the human by inciting low instincts."
It sounds as though Ukraine should relocate next to China.
The one bizarre caveat from Ukraine's Ministry of Justice is that porn may be owned "for medicinal purposes."
British newspaper The Mirror attempted to inject some levity into what's serious repression by commenting, "In Ukraine they used to fear Reds under the bed; now it's Readers' Wives (a Brit adult mag) under the bed."
What's truly scary when it comes to the rights of adult individuals worldwide is that Ukraine isn't the only nation seen shifting to a hard line on porn, and those countries even include the U.K. to some extent.
In May 2004, Labor Member of Parliament David Lepper and other ultra-conservation MPs presented a plan to control extreme porn, which included getting internet service providers, search engine companies and web hosting firms to block access; criminalizing possession; international law enforcement partnerships; and use of financial pressure through credit card companies to eliminate extreme porn.
The problem, again, is what exactly falls under the category of extreme porn was not clear enough.
Meanwhile similar plans have been considered by G8 member nations, which also include the U.S.