Tengrinews TV Радио Tengri FM Радио Жұлдыз FM Laws of Kazakhstan
KZ RU EN
Write us +7 (727) 388 8020 +7 (717) 254 2710
искать через Tengrinews.kz
искать через Google
искать через Yandex
USD / KZT - 325.58
EUR / KZT - 381.51
CNY / KZT - 48.32
RUB / KZT - 5.49

Faint hopes as Moscow court hears Pussy Riot appeal

01 october 2012, 16:31
0
Punk rockers Pussy Riot. ©RIA Novosti
Punk rockers Pussy Riot. ©RIA Novosti
A Russian court on Monday hears the appeal of jailed punk rockers Pussy Riot against a two-year prison camp sentence for performing an anti-Kremlin song in a cathedral, with supporters hoping at best for a slight easing of the sentence, AFP reports.

The cause of the three women, convicted in August but held in detention since March, has not only been taken up by opponents of President Vladimir Putin but also by international figures such as Aung Sang Suu Kyi and Madonna.

The trio, two of whom are young mothers, were found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for storming into Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in February and staging a balaclava-clad performance.

"We have practically no hope that the conviction will be changed. The maximum we can hope for is a reduction of the sentence by half a year," one of their lawyers, Violetta Volkova, told AFP.

The three prisoners will be allowed to participate in the appeal hearing at Moscow city court, which begins at 0700 GMT and will be broadcast online.

As the court will not review the entire course of the case, it is possible it will give its verdict on the same day.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, on February 21 climbed on to to an area around the altar in the cathedral and performed a "Punk Prayer" with the title "Virgin Mary, Redeem Us of Putin".

They were rapidly apprehended by church security guards but only arrested by police in March. Several other Pussy Riot members involved in the action remain at large, despite vows by the authorities to hunt them down.

The cathedral is a symbol of the resurgence of religion in post-Soviet Russia after its repression in the USSR and the case has divided the country, where the Orthodox Church is now hugely powerful.

For many in the Russian opposition, the action against Pussy Riot has become a symbol of the repression of civil society under Putin's third Kremlin term, which began against the background of unprecedented protests.

Their plight has had a huge global echo -- Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi called for their release "as soon as possible", while Madonna said in Moscow this summer that "I pray for their freedom".

While claiming he cannot influence the case, Putin has made no secret of his distaste for the group's antics. He referred to their stunt as an "orgy", playing up their links to a controversial art group.

Pussy Riot is affiliated to the activist art group Voina (War), one of whose leading members is Tolokonnikova's husband Verzilov.

Putin this month showed he had not forgotten Voina's most notorious action, where several of its activists including Tolokonnikova and Verzilov had public sex in a Moscow biological museum to mock Putin's protege Dmitry Medvedev.

"They had a group sex session in a public place. They then uploaded it onto the Internet. The authorities should have looked into this," Putin said.

Нравится
Поделиться
Add comment
Most Read
Most Discussed
Today
Week
Month