Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pussy Riot



An all-girl punk band and feminist collective that goes by the name Pussy Riot had performed a song in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on February 21, 2012, that mocked Russian president Vladamir Putin and calling for the Virgin Mary to "chase Putin out".



Three members were arrested on March 03. Their trial began on July 30 and raised much controversy in Russia and globally. On August 17, Maria Alyokhina (left), 24, Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), 30, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (right), 22 were found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and sentenced to serve two years in jail. A Moscow judge Marina Syrova rejected the defence's argument that the band's performance of an anti-Putin "punk prayer" was a form of political protest and ruled that it was motivated by hatred for Russian Orthodoxy.

Image credit: http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2012/08/pussy-riot-reaction-stars-express-shock-black-keys-to-boycott-ru/

The harsh sentences meted out to the Pussy Riot members signal a Kremlin refusal to tolerate dissent as the strongman seeks to retain his hold on power, analysts and activists said. The case has deepened the rift that emerged in Russian society following the unexpected appearance of a mass protest movement against Putin's return to the presidency. Some in the opposition movement gave dire predictions of what lay ahead.

Madonna, Bjork, Sting, Paul McCartney and Courtney Love are among a long list of musicians to come out in support of Pussy Riot, calling on the Russian government to set the band members free.

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