Skip to content

Three women in the Pussy Riot case jailed for six more months

July 21, 2012

Members of punk band Pussy Riot – (L to R) Yekaterina Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina – sit behind bars during their court hearing in Moscow

 

via Amnesty International

A court in Moscow has ruled that three members of the female punk group Pussy Riot must remain in custody for six months after singing a protest song in Moscow’s main Orthodox church, prompting Amnesty International to reiterate its call for their immediate release.

“These three activists have now been behind bars for months,awaiting a trial that should not be taking place, ” said Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Programme Director John Dalhuisen.

“Even if the three arrested women did take part in the protest, the severity of the response of the Russian authorities and 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.”

 

via Reuters

Defence lawyer Mark Feigin said the court’s acquiescence to a prosecution request to hold Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich until January 13, 2013, showed Russian leaders had given orders for their conviction.

“Today’s decision only proves again that our role as defendants here is a pure formality,” Feigin told reporters after the hearing, which was closed to the media.

“There is a lot of evidence that the judge will disregard justice in favour of a pre-set instructions on how to rule, which have been handed down by the authorities. They want to find them guilty… to punish them with real jail time.

“It is not a process but a judicial reprisal,” he said.

Putin and the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, are among more than 30 people Feigin and his two colleagues want to call to testify as witnesses in the trial.

After the Pussy Riot performance, Kirill said the Church was “under attack by persecutors”. The patriarch has often praised Putin and in February likened his 12-year rule to a “miracle of God”.

Though neither the president nor the patriarch is likely to testify, defence lawyers said the request pointed to those they believe were pulling strings behind the scenes.

“They are trying to make it look like an attack on Russia by some dark powers. It is just a theatre of the absurd, not a real court,” said Nikolai Polozov, another defence lawyer.

 

via The Guardian

[Pussy Riot] supporters say the powerful Orthodox church, which has close links with Putin, is behind the drive to keep the women in jail. Top church officials have come out in favour of their incarceration. They face up to seven years in prison on charges of hooliganism.

Pussy Riot erupted on the scene amid a wave of protest over Putin’s re-election as president. With bright balaclavas, rabid punk anthems and explicitly anti-government lyrics, they helped enliven Russia’s growing urban protest movement.

Friday’s pre-trial court hearing marked the formal start to the group’s trial. Pre-trial hearings are due to continue next week.

Many religious Russians who initially took offence at Pussy Riot’s church stunt have since called for their release. A poll released on Friday by the Levada Centre, an independent pollster, showed that 50% of Muscovites surveyed were against pursuing the criminal case against the three women, while 36% supported it.

 

To learn how you can help the three women in the Pussy Riot case and keep updated please visit: 

http://freepussyriot.org/help

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 22, 2012 2:20 AM

    They need to Putin in jail. He is nothing but a dictator and on his way to be the next Stalin. I feel sorry for the citizens of Russia. They will never have anything as long as that jerk is running that country. Don’t get me wrong, my own President in my country sucks too, so we are not without a dictator as well. Putin is nothing but a corrupt moron. People want freedom not a a**hole telling them what they can do or not.

    PUSSY RIOT RULES !!!! You girls got my vote !!!!

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: