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Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot face trial for cathedral protest

March 7, 2012

Free Pussy Riot! by Lylia Espinosa

 

Maria Alekhina, a prominent environmental activist, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been put in prison for 2 months without trial, simply on suspicion of taking part in the anti-Putin actions of feminist punk band Pussy Riot. They have 4- and 5-year-old kids waiting for them at home. We ask you to spread the word and to organise actions of solidarity, the first one for the 8th of March, International Women’s Day! The women went on hunger-strike since the arrest.

Re-post from original article on Index of Censorship by Tena Prelec: 

 

Members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot have been arrested in Moscow on the eve of the country’s presidential elections on charges of hooliganism. The Moscow court in charge decided to keep them imprisoned until 24 April, when they will be tried facing a sentence of up to 7 years. Two band members, both mothers, have announced a hunger strike until they are reunited with their children.

Pussy Riot is one of the most unusual  of all the opposition groups that have arisen in Moscow over the past few months. They perform political songs dressed in colourful mini-skirts and balaclavas. Their faces are covered so anyone can potentially join in. They were arrested after performing an anti-Putin punk prayer in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour cathedral.

The trial was supposed to take place on 5 March, the same day when mass demonstrations were scheduled to happen in Moscow. Journalists gathered at the Taganka court at 3pm, but were kept waiting for many hours in vain. “The strategy seems to be to wait for all of us to go to the protests, and hold the trial without a consistent presence of the press,” one said.

Waiting for the trial to start, the band members’ lawyer Nikolai Polozov told Index: “I do not understand why the trial is being postponed for such a long time. I got notice it was delayed by one, then two and then three hours, but now the inquirer does not even pick up my phone calls. If supporting documents are not brought in within 48 hours of the arrests, which is within a couple of hours, they will be forced to release them. But they could always determine the moment of the arrest to a later hour or find another legal caveat to keep them in”.

The supporting documents were eventually brought in. Two more band members were arrested in the evening hours of the same day.

Many Russians are showing support for the group through social media and real life actions. On 8 March, International Women’s Day, a number of flash mobs in support of the group are planned to take place all over Moscow. Recently re-elected president Vladimir Putin has stated he disapproves of the womens’ actions in the cathedral.

 

UPDATES

Friends, you can now send solidarity messages to the arrested members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at this email address : pussriotsolidarity@gmail.com – even if you don’t know Russian, you can write to them in English or just write in your native language – their support group will print these messages and hand them over to Maria and Nadezhda – first round this Sunday 11th of March, 2012.

An online petition in English is now gathering signatures for the support of the jailed women. Please take a moment of your time to add your name in support. 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. holger-wunderatsch@web.de permalink
    March 22, 2012 5:39 AM

    Hello my Name is Holger I am a German Punk 50 I am 50 Yo old. Pussy Riot is A Good Prostest Punk Band Respekt Fuck putin in The Ashole. Make Pussy Riot Konzerte International or in Germany? Sorry my English is Not good can Write in German Language? Dear Pogo is my Nick Name.

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