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Monday, August 20, 2012

PUSSY RIOT THREE FOUND GUILTY



Pussy Riot three found guilty
Two-year prison sentence sparks rallies and protests

By Sophia Kishkovsky. Web only
Published online: 17 August 2012

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich have been found guilty today, 17 August, of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. The term hooliganism since the days of the Soviet Union has strong overtones of political dissent. They were sentenced to two years in a prison colony for their guerrilla performance of a punk “prayer” against Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church in front of the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral last February, a Moscow court ruled on Friday.

Patriarch Kirill I, who is heavily supported by the government and in turn has given it his full allegiance, did not waver from his early hard opinion of the women’s action, calling it a “desecration” of the cathedral.

The scene outside the courtroom was tense. Among Pussy Riot’s supporters outside the court as the verdict was handed down were artists, some wearing colourful balaclavas like those worn by the defendants during their anti-Putin protest. Others were in T-shirts with a line from the punk prayer: “O Birthgiver of God, Get Rid of Putin.” Cossacks and Russian nationalists who have condemned Pussy Riot’s actions also crowded around the courthouse building in Moscow. Riot police periodically dragged away protesters, including the chess champion and opposition politician Garry Kasparov.

In the text of the verdict that she read outside of Moscow’s Khamovnichesky Court this afternoon, Judge Maria Syrova said, according to the Interfax news agency, that Pussy Riot’s “action was carried out in a clearly disrespectful form, lacking in any moral basis and clearly expressing their religious hatred and enmity towards one of the religions that exists in our day— Christianity—infringing on its equal rights, identity, and great meaning to a great number of nations and peoples.”


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