Pussy Riot sentencing sparks international protest

On Friday,  Judge Marina Syrova convicted three members of Pussy Riot the women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,  sentencing them to ”two years deprivation of liberty in a penal colony.” This is one year less than the three-year sentence sought by prosecutors. Syrova said the punk prayer Pussy Riot had performed in a Moscow cathedral had ”crudely undermined social order.” She stated that  ”These three plus others… plotted together to undermine civil order, motivated by religious hatred.” Syrova justified her sentence, saying, “Considering the nature and degree of the danger posed by what was done, the defendants’ correction is possible only through an actual punishment.”

Lawyers representing Pussy Riot anticipated the guilty verdict and plan to appeal the sentence through the courts, rather than to Putin. The  sentencing sparked protests around the world, some of which are captured in this photo gallery from The Guardian.

Especially scary is the news that the Russian police are currently searching for more members of the anonymous feminist punk band, continuing the crackdown on dissent and protest reminiscent of the show trials during the Soviet era.

Amnesty International considers the women “prisoners of conscience, for they are detained solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs.” You can Amnesty’s petition calling for the release of Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova here.

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