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Russia

Lawyer Slams Jail Reprimands For Pussy Riot Members

A combo photo of the detained members of Pussy Riot: Yekaterina Samutsevich (left), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (center), and Maria Alyokhina
A combo photo of the detained members of Pussy Riot: Yekaterina Samutsevich (left), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (center), and Maria Alyokhina

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Punk Band 'Desecrated' Church

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill says a female punk band desecrated the Cathedral of Christ the Savior when they stormed the church and performed.
By Claire Bigg
Two jailed members of a dissident all-female punk group say prison authorities have unfairly reprimanded them for bad behavior.

The pair, along with a third member of Pussy Riot, were detained after performing a song critical of President-elect Vladimir Putin and of the Russian Orthodox Church at Moscow's largest cathedral.

Yekaterina Samutsevich was reprimanded for not folding her bedcover properly, while Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was accused of keeping self-written notes in her cell.

Their lawyer, Nikolai Polozov, says he will appeal.

"We consider that the reprimands were issued unlawfully and constitute one more attempt by investigators to pressure the women into making confessions," he said.

Polozov says Samutsevich's cell was inspected in the evening as she was preparing to go to bed and had thrown back the covers.

According to him, prison rules do not bar inmates from writing and keeping notes.

Polozov says the reprimands could be used against his clients in the future.

"This tactic was already tried on Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev," he said. "They were denied early release precisely on the basis of reprimands issued for minor offenses that were probably made up, too."

Pussy Riot's February performance at Christ the Savior Cathedral outraged many churchgoers. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has called for tough sentences.

But the harsh treatment of the three detained Pussy Riot members, two of whom have small children, has also sparked indignation among Russians, including Orthodox Christians.

A court in Moscow recently extended the trio's pretrial detention until June 24.

The women face up to seven years in prison on charges of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred.
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Comments
     
by: Eugenio from: Vienna
May 05, 2012 18:40
I mean, some females are really ready to go a long way to attract the attention of males - but these three young ladies have clearly outperformed all the other ones :-))).
In Response

by: Jack from: US
May 06, 2012 13:24
these girls did a good job showing of their slavish mindset. Apparently calling their band English name which most Russian do not understand, with rather explicit second meaning, and desecrating Christian Church, perfectly aware their heads won't be cut off, unlike the case they did the same in some mosque, all that apparently was supposed to look "cool", in the eyes of foreign onlookers, for whom the whole show was organized. Surely they earned applause from foreign propaganda departments, like RFE/RL, some of whom even called them "prisoners of conscience".
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
May 07, 2012 06:11
Completely agree with you, Jack. I would not be surprised to discover that the whole thing was set up by the US Embassy in Moscow and that the girls are getting paid from for the show from the same source.
In Response

by: Ilya
May 07, 2012 08:52
They were protesting peacefully against church support for an anti-democratic government. They're obviously political prisoners.
In Response

by: SK
May 07, 2012 10:24
Are you guys serious - they were jailed for a political protest against Putin. It was nothing against the Orthodox Church - one of the lyrics was "Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin, chase Putin out!” - I consider myself an Orthodox Christian, but they should let them out. Sure, it was provocative, but protests are supposed to get attention from the media, that's the point of protesting. A free society should allow political protests. But there's something strange about Russians and their views about politics. They are very superstitious and respectful, but they are afraid of thinking. Its like they need to fear their leaders, otherwise they do not respect them. They want to be oppressed by a strong leader who cannot be criticised. Intelligent leaders that can think are anomalies which are soon replaced by a dictator (compare Lenin to Stalin, Gorbachev to Yeltsin/Putin) .They only respect mindless strength and superstition, not thought. Is this something fundamental in the Russian character or is it a product of the Stalin-era. Even before Stalin the Tsar oppressed the people. I read a lot of Dostoyevsky he was pretty dark - but seemed to capture the Russian character - a lot of fear and doubt about the future. Maybe easier to leave the ruling to the strong, as long as they leave you alone (and if they dont, I guess you are just unlucky, and better not speak up about it)

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