Pussy Riot: 2 Years Prison
The all girl Russian punk band Pussy Riot were each sentenced to two years in Russian prison today (Fri., Aug 17/12) for their guerrilla one-song-set on the steps of a church.
Back in March, as Vladimir Putin was poised to win an election to return to the presidency, the trio performed a song as a "punk prayer" calling on the Virgin Mary to save Russia from this president. They were arrested and charged. Putin himself said he only hoped the law would take its course.
NOT PUNK'D...FOR REAL
The members could have received up to 7 years in prison though prosecution was only asking for 3. There was a wave of global protests in support of the band and of free speech. Protests were organized world wide and people such as Madonna, Paul McCartney and others made public statements.
The official charge was hooliganism connected with religious hatred, we assume because the performance took place on the steps of a Moscow church.
Two of the women have young children and have not been allowed to see them. It is not known whether the last 6 months they have spent in captivity will apply to their sentence. They were only just found guilty and unlike here, sentencing took place almost immediately.
22 year old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (pictured alone below) is said to have permanent resident status in Canada and an Ontario health card. It was thought she is married to a Russian Canadian who came forward. She has denied the permanent residency claim.
If these women trespassed or gave an illegal performance (no permit or some such thing) then alright; arrest and prosecute. In most places it's a misdemeanor, perhaps a fine. In Russia it's 2 years in prison. Today is a sad day for freedom on planet earth and a sign that old Russia is back. Can the letters USSR be far behind?
World politics or the UN won't likely get behind something called Pussy Riot. Hopefully through social media at least, the people will have spoken. LEAVE COMMENTS.
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This is an older video of some of the protests and reporting.