Russia – Russian band Pussy Riot face years in jail pending Friday verdict

20 Aug
Ekaterina Samutsevich, 29. Visual Artist, degree from The Alexander Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia, Moscow.

On 21 February, four members of Pussy Riot entered the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, wearing brightly coloured outfits and balaclavas masking their faces. For a few minutes they danced in front of the altar, singing their “punk prayer” before being removed from the building.

One week after the performance, an edited video of Pussy Riot performing, both in the church and elsewhere, appeared on Youtube, and a week after that the police were instructed to arrest the group’s known members.

Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich were arrested and charged with “hooliganism” under Article 213 of the Russian Criminal Code, which carries a maximum seven-year jail term, although the prosecutor has called for a three year sentence.

The group says on their website, “The intention of the performance was to draw attention to the special relationship between President Putin and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

Since March 4th, the women have sat in pre-trial detention, refused bail due to what the authorities termed as “fear for the women’s safety.”

PEN International published a translation of their “punk prayer” Punk Moleben and its context.

For recent news, see:
Russia: Prosecutor seeks three years sentence for members of Pussy Riot (Freemuse)
Russia: Freemuse calls for free and fair trial for Pussy Riot – with video feeds from the courtroom
God is judging Pussy Riot, says Russian church leader (The Guardian, UK)
Pussy Riot on Putin, ‘punk prayers’ and superheroes – video interview (The Guardian)

via IFEX

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