Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Russia

Pussy Riot Lawyers Ask For Acquittal

Members of Pussy Riot at the trial in Moscow on August 7.
Members of Pussy Riot at the trial in Moscow on August 7.
By RFE/RL's Russian Service
The lawyers of three members of the Pussy Riot female punk group have asked a Moscow court to acquit their clients after the prosecution had called for a three-year jail sentence. 
 
The lawyers argued that their clients' actions cannot be classified as a crime. 

"The court cannot try our defendants based exclusively on a theocratic interpretation of the law," lawyer Mark Feigin said. "The secular nature of the state dictates that even inside a church there are no blasphemous actions, but only administrative or criminal offenses."
 
The defendant's other lawyer Violetta Volkova said the trial was politically motivated.

"This is not a criminal case. These women have been recognized political prisoners by international organizations: Amnesty International, Memorial, and others," Volkova  said. "These women are here now not because they danced in a church, or because they wore the wrong clothes in the wrong place, or because they prayed in the wrong way or didn't cross themselves properly. They are here because of their political views."
 
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were charged with hooliganism and insulting feelings of Orthodox Christians after staging a performance at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in March against President Vladimir Putin’s rule. 
 
They have been in detention since March. The court began hearing arguments of the defendants and the prosecutor on August 7. Meanwhile, the lawyers for the Christ the Savior Cathedral's employees, who are registered as victims in the case, asked the court to give the defendants suspended sentences. 
 
Madonna Support

Also on August 7, the U.S. pop music star Madonna urged Russia not to jail the three young ladies. Madonna told The Associated Press during her concert tour of Russia that she is "against censorship" and hopes "the judge is lenient with them and that they are freed soon." 
 
Madonna was the latest of several international music stars to appeal for leniency. Last week, a group of British musicians including Pete Townshend and the pop group Pet Shop Boys have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was on a visit to London, to give a fair trial to the Pussy Riot members. 
 
In a letter published in the London "Times" newspaper last week, 12 musicians called the charges against the three female band members "preposterous."  Other signatories were Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos, Johnny Marr of The Smiths, and folk singer Corinne Bailey Rae. 
 
Putin, in his turn, said while in London that the three women should not be punished "too strictly." Putin told reporters in London he hopes "the court issues a correct decision." 

Madonna: Jail Sentence For Pussy Riot Would Be 'Tragedy'i
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August 07, 2012
Pop star Madonna, speaking in Moscow ahead of a concert, has said that a jail sentence for the three women of punk collective Pussy Riot would be a "tragedy." She joins a number of Western celebrities and activists who have spoken out in defense of the jailed anti-Putin activists. Meanwhile, the defendants arrived at a Moscow courthouse for another day of trial. Reuters video

(WATCH: Madonna says jail sentence would be a tragedy.)

With reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gordon Ball from: Ottawa Canada
August 07, 2012 07:49
If Pussy Riot are sent to prison for seven years there is going to be a real backlash.
In Response

by: misha from: NY
August 07, 2012 12:48
Actually there wont be a big backlash- We arent in Canada sorry. In Russia rule of law and no leniency is given all becasue you are popular. The same rules apply fopr everyone. Want to act like a monkey go ahead buit do it in a circus where you belong. A church is for worship NOT place of protesting...I am a Christian and i take that behavior in a place of my worship insulting and offensive. That said i hope the judge excercises strict measures and let these dummyz be an example for those who forgot how to behave themselves
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
August 08, 2012 06:04
Really Misha? So that explains why people close to the Kremlin get to commit any crime they like from tax evasion and theft to assaults and murders, while political opponents of the Kremlin are sent to prison for "hooliganism" for attending protests, or are sent to prison for "tax evasion" for financing opposition parties.

BTW, I am an Orthodox Christian, and I am deeply offended by the anti-Christian Russian Metropolitan of Moscow who prostitutes himself to the neo-fascist Tsar Putin.

So is most of the (no Russian) Orthodox world.

Thank God the Patriarch of Constantinople is the head of the Orthodox communion. It is interesting to note that in most Orthodox countries, such as Romania, Georgia, Greece etc, the Church is frequently critical of those in power, as it should be. While in Russia it is not a real Church, just a tool of the state.

Maybe it is time to suspend the Russians from the Orthodox communion?

by: Ibrihim from: Belarus
August 07, 2012 13:16
Thats why ppl like Modonna do not make decisions but use their microscopic brains for entertainment. Yes we are all pioneers of freedom wether it be of expression, belief, and evrythng else you said but NOT IN THE PLACE OF WORSHIP!! Have you lost it? How is this freedom of expression work when you are taking smbdy elses freedom of simply believing and praising the Lord and some idiots run in like its some lawless country and during service casue a riot?. Go practice your freedoms but when you start to abuse it i count on my officials to protect me and my freedoms by issuing a harsh penalty on them and putting them in jail. It amazes me how ppl take what they did as ok. Modonna maybe in the US its ok to lose all respect for ppl in thier churches but thats why you are speaking only of freedom but not of consequences of when u start to . DID you forget they went into a cathedral up top and started using profanity and acting like bunch of morons? I take this offensive. Act like an idiot you are in a circus or around your dummy friends the church is NOT a place for this type of behavior..SORRY. 10yrs plus and let them b an example to everyone else who lost it. I count on the judges to strictly punish these idiots and establish some type of order in Russia so that it doesnt become another America
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
August 08, 2012 06:07
Yes, very Christian of you Ibrahim, funny how Russian (so called) Christians forget the main tenent, forgiveness is the centre of the Christian religion. BTW, there was no service going on in the Church at that time.

And Russia is already a far more depraved place than the USA, by a massive margin, the prevalence of incest, drug addiction, rape, murder, cannibalism etc in Russia is proof of that.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
August 08, 2012 15:11
Dearest Dan,glad to hear you`re a real Orthodox,me too and I gladly forgive all your sins.By the way which Orthodox Church you belong to,is it the NZ Orthodox or the Tasmanian Orthodox or maybe there is an aboriginal Orthodox too?Or maybe you adhere to the puppet patriarch of Constantinople which the true turkic orthodoxes call Istanbul?Now we are all going to pray for your real orthodox soul knowing very well you havent got one and we shall pray for pussy freedom too.Looking forward hearing from Lady Gaga on the subject of real Orthodoxy,too.And,dear Dandrew,dont hesitate to exclude them bloody russians from the Orthodox communion,the sooner,the betterand dont go out in the sun without a hat!!!
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
August 09, 2012 04:52
Lets see Camel, in New Zealand there are the Russian, Romanian, Greek, Ethiopian, Bulgarian, and Serbian Orthodox Churches. And Camel, try actually posting something of relevance rather than your trolling. You don't even have the intelligence to be an amusing troll. Just a retarded one.

by: PragueGuy from: Prague
August 07, 2012 14:34
And why is this news????? Sounds like these "ladies" might need a trip to church to umm.....repent.

by: Alex from: Brussels
August 07, 2012 16:25
A new time Madonna is there to defend a good cause.

Go Girl, we are with you!

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