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Russia

Pussy Riot Won't Ask Putin For Pardon

The three convicted members of Pussy Riot in a Moscow courtroom on August 17
The three convicted members of Pussy Riot in a Moscow courtroom on August 17

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Video Pussy Riot Members Found Guilty, Jailed For Two Years

A court in Moscow has found the three members of the punk feminist performance-art group Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after performing what they called a "punk prayer" at a landmark Moscow church in February.
By RFE/RL
Lawyers for the three convicted members of the Russian feminist performance-art group Pussy Riot say the women have ruled out asking President Vladimir Putin for a pardon following their sentencing to two years in prison.

Lawyer Nikolai Polozov was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying: "Let them go to hell with their pardon."

Polozov said lawyers are, however, still planning to appeal the verdict to Russia's supreme and constitutional courts, as well as the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.

The August 17 court ruling found the women -- Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich -- guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for their anti-Putin performance in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in February.

Polozov said lawyers are waiting to receive an official copy of the court decision before launching the appeals.

Russian police said on August 20 that they were continuing to search for other members of Pussy Riot who were also present at the February performance.

Police did not say how many people they were looking for, nor whether any faced possible arrest or charges over their role in the February protest.

International reaction to the verdict has been quick and overwhelmingly negative, with performers such as Madonna, Paul McCartney, Sting, Moby, and many others voicing their support for the Pussy Riot members.

Inside Russia, the verdict has also sparked actions in support of Pussy Riot.

Reports from northwest Russia said graffiti reading "Freedom for Pussy Riot" was painted on a cathedral in the city of Velkiye Luki.

In the city of Pskov, "Down with church obscurantism!" and "Respect for Pussy Riot" was inscribed in letters 15-meters high on the 13th-century John the Baptist Monastery.  

The graffiti was reportedly quickly painted over by authorities.

In another incident, Pussy Riot supporters in Moscow were involved in an altercation when they entered a café wearing shirts that said "Mother Mary expel Putin" -- a reference to Pussy Riot's "punk prayer" that led to the prosecution of the women.

Police arrived to restore order after a group of young people called authorities to say the shirts offended them and incited inter-faith hatred.

Russian opposition activists have condemned the trial as part of a clampdown against a protest movement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied on August 20 that authorities had put pressure on the court and said there was no need for "hysterics" in the case.

"There is the possibility of appealing the verdict and, as I understand, the young women's lawyers are going to do that," he said. "So let's not draw any hasty conclusions or, least of all, start any hysteria about it."

Lavrov's remarks during a visit to Helsinki were the first by a member of the Russian government since the sentences were issued on August 17.

The United States, the European Union, and several nations have called the two-year jail sentences "disproportionate" and urged Russian authorities to review the case.


With reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, Ria Novosti, and AFP
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
August 20, 2012 17:13
as evident from RFE/RL reporting the verdict against three Riot Pussies is not approved by US government. Indeed, the verdict is socially unfair because of severe mental retardation of the defendants.
In Response

by: Leo from: United States
August 21, 2012 01:07
What a wretched waste of our taxes the incessant mindless coverage of these would-be porno stars has become. Either get some grown-ups in charge or prepare to justify this silliness to the next Congress. The approving coverage of these obscene nuts makes America a laughingstock.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
August 22, 2012 04:32
A very good point, Leo, and - judging by the comment on this forum - it looks like with this Pussy Riot "story" the Western media are just provoking a reaction of their readership contraty to the one they expected to provoke. Budget cuts are coming your way, guys, start packing up your stuff and prepare to go back to your native Miami. Once you've done so, we'll finally be able to talk about a "Free Europe" - free from you in the first place :-)).

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
August 21, 2012 04:15
It's interesting to see how some Pussy Riot fans were promising on this very forum and I was going to have to look for a full-time job after the humiliating ouster of Putin from the Presidency - and in the meantime the three ladies pictured above found a full-time job without even looking for it. The contract length is 2 years and the Arbeitsplatz is a labor camp in Siberia. La vida te da sorpresas :-))).
In Response

by: Nachtigall from: world
August 21, 2012 12:02
I see that Putin's paid trolls are already starting to post here.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
August 22, 2012 04:19
Starting ??? Sweety, wake up, it's been years I've been posting on this Saudi-paid "wonderful" web-site.

by: Alex from: LA
August 21, 2012 14:38
It's simple, They broke the law, they were tried and sentenced, moving on to more important events and people, than these attention seekers, that suck musically and the message they carry.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
August 22, 2012 04:27
You are absolutely right, Alex: it's time to move to "more important events". But that's the "sad" irony of life: if RFE/RL moved on, they would have to report on US cities (such as Stockton or Detroit) going bankrupt, on the US sovereign debt being higher than 100 % of the US GDP, on the looming military defeat of the US in Afhanistan, on how the US spent almost a decade sending its soldiers to die in Iraq and the only thing the US achieved by this was strengthening the position of Iran in the Iraqui power structures. the RFE/RL would also have to write on how the US is so desperately afraid of truth that it has to persecute the man who said it - Julian Assange - by all the possible and impossible means (while, of course, pretending to give others "lessons" on how to respect the freedom of speech).
So, given all that, one can only understand that this Saudi-troll web-site prefers to focus on a pretty boring topic of the three ladies pictured above having to get a real job for two years :-)).

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