Protests over punk band's jail term

Protesters took to the streets after three members of punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison Human rights activists have taken to the streets in support of feminist punk band Pussy Riot whose members were jailed for two years for hooliganism in Moscow. Full Story
tmk
#1 Aug 17, 2012
Human rights activists have taken to the streets in support of feminist punk band Pussy Riot whose members were jailed for two years for hooliganism in Moscow.

Crowds of banner-waving supporters protested outside Russia's embassy in London's Kensington Palace Gardens and masked demonstrators also protested in O'Connell Street, Dublin's main thoroughfare.

The three female band members were each sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism driven by religious hatred and offending religious believers. The trio were arrested in March after an unauthorised performance in Moscow's main cathedral calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against leader Vladimir Putin.

Three windows at the London embassy were smashed and a railing damaged on Thursday night before the verdicts were reached. On Friday, the band's supporters expressed their outrage outside the building.

Tommy Anarchic, 26, lead singer for London-based electro-punk band Without My Medicine, said: "This is bo****ks really. All they did was annoy the right-wing church in Russia, which is a big power in that part of the world. If they did the same performance at a nightclub, they would have been fine. I think the Russian authorities could have let this slide. Now they have the world covering this."

Sir Paul McCartney, Bjork, Sting and Madonna have publicly supported the punk provocateurs. Sir Paul wrote to the women telling them to "stay strong" and that he would do everything in his power to help them. As well as London and Dublin, supporters also took to the streets of Paris, Kiev, Berlin and Sofia.

Amnesty International said it believed the trial was politically motivated, and the trio were wrongfully prosecuted for what was a legitimate - if potentially offensive - protest action. Amnesty said a protest would be held on Saturday at the Russian embassy in Melville Street, Edinburgh, at midday.

Catherine Ashton, the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and vice-president of the Commission, said: "This sentence is disproportionate. Together with the reports of the band members' mistreatment during their pre-trial detention and the reported irregularities of the trial, it puts a serious question mark over Russia's respect for international obligations of fair, transparent and independent legal process. It also runs counter to Russia's international obligations as regards respect for freedom of expression.

"This case adds to the recent upsurge in politically motivated intimidation and prosecution of opposition activists in the Russian Federation, a trend that is of growing concern to the European Union. Respect for human rights and the rule of law is an indispensable part of the EU-Russia relationship. Sentencing of the three young women, two of whom are mothers of small children, to two years in prison for a peaceful, if controversial, expression of their views, is deeply troubling. I expect that this sentence will be reviewed and reversed in line with Russia's international commitments."

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said: "I am deeply concerned by the sentencing of three members of the band Pussy Riot, which can only be considered a disproportionate response to an expression of political belief. Reports about conditions of the detention of the women, and the conduct of the trial, are also concerning. The Government is committed to a relationship with Russia in which we can discuss differences frankly and constructively. We have repeatedly called on the Russian authorities to protect human rights, including the right to freedom of expression, and apply the rule of law in a non-discriminatory and proportionate way. Today's verdict calls into question Russia's commitment to protect these fundamental rights and freedoms."
Peter Tremain

Thornton, Australia

#3 Aug 17, 2012
What sort of Shithole dictatorship is the modern Russia. They gaol girls over a song?? Putin equals a poo tin. Russia has handed its self repeatedly to a KGB gangster. Russia is a deplorable country where the people have no real freedom and the biggest export is crime and corruption. their great gift to the world? Vodka? No!, Caviar? No! Their gift is mayhem, munitions and mafia!

I feel sorry for the people of Russia. Will they never know true freedom?

pete
Small Town America UGX

Egg Harbor City, NJ

#4 Aug 17, 2012
Peter Tremain wrote:
What sort of Shithole dictatorship is the modern Russia. They gaol girls over a song?? Putin equals a poo tin. Russia has handed its self repeatedly to a KGB gangster. Russia is a deplorable country where the people have no real freedom and the biggest export is crime and corruption. their great gift to the world? Vodka? No!, Caviar? No! Their gift is mayhem, munitions and mafia!
I feel sorry for the people of Russia. Will they never know true freedom?
pete
Russis now is ruled like a great mafia organization, but with the exception that Putin is really the sole dictator in absolute power. He has consolidated all the power over the people. Less than half do not support him. But more than half do. At least for now. His grandiose ego-centric mind will and is destroying Russia.
Revelations

United States

#5 Aug 17, 2012
hmmmm sorta sounds like obama, no wonder they,hate each other, you are your worst enemy.
Sam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

#7 Aug 18, 2012
They would have been jailed longer if they have done these in one of US or European churches. This is not protest, this is only disrespecting Christianity. Ugly b**chs!!!

Since: Dec 10

Seattle

#8 Aug 18, 2012
Sam wrote:
They would have been jailed longer if they have done these in one of US or European churches. This is not protest, this is only disrespecting Christianity. Ugly b**chs!!!
You shouldn't engage in sexism!

But I agree they were blasphemous acts for the sole purpose of getting more attention! It's nothing more than a publicity stunt because their music sucks, this act will bring them more than their awful music ever could!

I also agree those nations have no right to criticize Russia, especially since they are silent over the jail sentence of prominent human rights activist in Bahrain!
Hillary Clinton

United States

#9 Aug 18, 2012
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

(CNN)-- A Bahrain court sentenced prominent activist Nabeel Rajab to three years in prison "for participating in illegal rallies and gatherings," a government spokesman said Thursday.

"You can jail me for three years or 30 years, but I will not back down or retreat," Rajab said after his sentence was read in a court, according to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Rajab is that group's president.

The sentence raised concerns from British and European Union officials who called for Bahrain to reconsider its length (but raised not a whisper from America).
Hillary Clinton

United States

#10 Aug 18, 2012
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

KUWAIT CITY – A defense lawyer in Kuwait says a court has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for Twitter posts deemed insulting to Islam and to the rulers of Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Sabri Bogday, a Turkish national, has been sentenced to death by a Saudi court on March 31, 2008 for allegedly cursing the name of God in his barber shop during an argument with a client. Reportedly, Bogday was not represented by a lawyer in court and did not have access to a translator. He denied the charges, but the Court ruled that Bogday committed a crime of apostasy, defection from Islam, under Saudi laws and regarded the testimony by the Saudi client and an Egyptian neighbor as sufficient evidence for the death sentence. The Mekka appeals court upheld the lower court sentence on May 1. Currently held in prison, Bogday could face imminent execution, if his sentence is approved by the King of Saudi Arabia. Bogday has 17 month old child and has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for over 11 years.

Mitt Romney

United States

#11 Aug 18, 2012
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain are our friends.

Besides, you wouldn't want to see a repeat of the 1973 oil embargo from them, would you? Bad for business.

Bibi says we've got them neutered. Let's keep it that way.
Hillary Clinton

United States

#12 Aug 18, 2012
Russian activist’s husband jailed

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/43787b80-6ec9-11e1-...
Hillary Clinton

United States

#13 Aug 18, 2012
Russian Police Arrest Gay Rights Activists

http://www.advocate.com/news/daily-news/2011/...
Hillary Clinton

United States

#14 Aug 18, 2012
850 Cases of Russian Activist Persecution in 2011

The human rights watchdog Agora says it’s recorded more than 850 cases of persecution against civil rights activists and non-governmental organizations in Russia in 2011, continuing a trend that has been steadily on the rise since 2008, Kasparov.ru reports.

According to Agora, Russia was home to 730 rallies, demonstrations, and pickets attended by a total of more than 400 thousand people during 2011. Of those participants, more than four thousand were detained before, during, or immediately after the event.

The group found that 117 civil activists, made up mostly of bloggers, anarchist or antifascists, and members of the banned National Bolshevik Party, were subjected to criminal prosecution in the past year. They were mostly incriminated under Russia’s controversial “extremism” laws, which critics denounce for their broad, vague wording, and also under laws against slandering or insulting government figures. Among the persecuted activists was music critic Artemy Troitsky, Novosibirsk artist Artem Loskutov, Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolaev of the art group Voina, and Tyumen State University professor Andrei Kutuzov.

Three activists were killed in 2011: in May, editor Yakhya Magomedov of the Avar-language Islamic newspaper As-Salam; in June, Rector Maksud Sadikov of the Institute of Theology and International Relations was shot along with his nephew in Makhachkala; in December, Gadzhimurad Kamalov, a journalist and founder of the independent newspaper Chernovik, was murdered in Dagestan.

Agora also recorded 45 incidents of beatings and other attacks.

The most at-risk groups were ecologists (primarily members of the Movement in Defense of the Khimki Forest and opponents of environmental damage due to Olympic construction in Sochi), LGBT activists, and activists and participants of protests in the North Caucasus.

There were also 42 arrests, most commonly of members of the National Bolsheviks, Khimki Forest activists, and members of the electoral watchdog Golos. Irina Teplinskaya, a vocal critic of Russia’s treatment of drug addicts, was arrested in a Kaliningrad airport in August, and Golos head Liliya Shibanova was arrested in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in December. Noting the arrests of blogger Aleksei Navalny, oppositionist Ilya Yashin, and pianist Fedor Amirov, analysts at Agora said that from December 5-7, Russia for the first time began detaining people en masse and sentencing them to the maximum term of administrative arrest, with more than 100 people turning up in Moscow holding facilities during that time.

Additionally, 2011 saw 25 police searches of NGO offices and activists’ apartments.

The searches included a firm owned by Khimki Forest activist Yevgenia Chirikova and her husband, the office of the opposition movement Solidarity, and the Ulyanovsk branch of the Memorial human rights center.

The 850 cases of persecution recorded by Agora in 2011 followed 603 such cases in 2010, 308 in 2009, and 144 in 2008.

http://www.theotherrussia.org/2012/01/28/850-...
Sam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

#15 Aug 18, 2012
These so called Human Right activists are the biggest trouble makers arround.
John McCain

United States

#16 Aug 18, 2012
Today "we are ALL national bolsheviks."
Aspiring Punk Band

United States

#17 Aug 18, 2012
Big deal. They'll serve one year tops, leaving 7 months to go and now they're famous and laying golden eggs as soon as they walk out the door.

Where do we sign up?
Aspiring Punk Band

United States

#18 Aug 18, 2012
John McCain wrote:
Today "we are ALL national bolsheviks."
You're a bit loopy in la cabeza, John. Time for the old folk's home?

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