Russia’s “Pussy Riot” remain in jail

In February, five members of “Pussy Riot,” Russia’s radical, feminist, punk band, entered Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral stood at the altar and sang “Mother of God, Blessed Virgin, drive out Putin!” For their protest art against President Vladimir Putin, three members of the band were arrested, charged with hooliganism, which can carry a seven-year long prison sentence, and have been held in jail since March. The three women, Nadya Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, say they are members of the band, but deny participating in the events at the Cathedral.  On Thursday, a judge turned down a request to release the women on bail until their trial starts. He extended their detention until June 24th. Amnesty International, which has taken up the case, explains that,

Even if the three arrested women did take part in the protest, the severity of the response of the Russian authorities – the detention on the serious criminal charge of hooliganism – would not be a justifiable response to the peaceful – if, to many, offensive – expression of their political beliefs. They would therefore be prisoners of conscience….

The broader political context surrounding the anti-Putin protests at the time – and the anti-clerical, anti-Putin content of the activists’ message (themselves unpunishable) – have clearly and unlawfully been taken into account in the charges that have been brought against them.

Before the hearings, around 60 people gathered the courthouse and chanted“Freedom! Freedom!” and an Orthodox bystander threw an egg at a band member’s husband.

Here is video of the Cathedral Incident for which the three women have been detained and face up to seven years of prison:

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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    To be honest, on the altar is a bit much.
    I am looking up Patriarch Kirill I on Wikipedia and I see that he is quite a prick. Glad to see many religious believers in the Orthodox religion, in Catholicism, and Atheism disagreeing with his Pro-Putin stance

  2. Posted April 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I’ve heard about this but had not seen it(or heard the band) till now. I am in so many levels of awe right now.

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