Porn Star Wiska Bids for EU Asylum after Ukraine Sleaze Crackdown

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By Umberto Bacchi | December 4, 2012 10:50 PM EST


Wiska at a Femen protest supporting her in front of the parliament in Kiev. The placard reads "Hands off my children!" (Reuters)

A Ukrainian porn star is seeking asylum in the EU, as she claims she is being prosecuted in her homeland due to her occupation.

Anastasia Gryshai, aka Wiska, fled to the Czech Republic with her children in 2010 after Ukrainian prosecutors opened an investigation against her, on charges of producing and distributing pornography.

However, at the end of a long bureaucratic process, Czech authorities have refused to give her shelter and are threatening to expel her from the country.

"I have been given 15 days to leave the country. They [Czech authorities] don't care that we can't go back to Ukraine," Gryshai, 26, told The Times while vowing to appeal to EU courts.

Pornography was banned in Ukraine by a law signed by former Ukraine President Victor Yushchenko in 2009. People found guilty of possessing, selling or disseminating pornography could face up to three years in prison.

The law raised widespread condemnation from critics who claimed it failed to properly define pornography, opening the door to misuse by authorities.

The investigation against Gryshai was opened following a complaint lodged by a local MP, angered at her TV appearances on talk shows.

Police found pornographic material on her husband's computer during a home raid. The man maintained it was for private use, while Gryshai said she had never shot a movie in Ukraine.

"They don't see the difference between storage and production," Gryshai told The Times.

"I was left alone with a child, worked as a model in various magazines. When I was asked to star in a porno movie I accepted because I needed the money. I have been trying to explain that I did not do it out of a love for the business but because I had to feed my son," she added.

Ukrainian feminist activist group Femen staged a demonstration in support of Gryshai in front of the Ukrainian Parliament in 2010.

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