Key condemns Pussy Riot sentences
Tue, 21 Aug 2012 5:40a.m.
Prime Minister John Key has joined other world leaders in condemning the two-year jail sentences handed down to Russian all-girl punk band Pussy Riot.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, were last week jailed for "hooliganism driven by religious hatred" after performing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral earlier this year.
The song reportedly called for the Virgin Mary to get rid of Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
Mr Key told media that while he has not had official advice on the case, the sentence "looks a bit disproportionate to me".
"Two years is quite a long sentence for the comments that were made."
However, it appears unlikely that Mr Key will raise the matter with Mr Putin when they meet at APEC in the southern Russian city of Vladivostok next month - saying they would discuss it "if it comes up as a topic of conversation".
"It's more likely our ambassador will raise it with the foreign service in Russia," Mr Key said.
His comments followed criticism of the sentence from other Western countries and a number of stars, including Madonna.
The European Union and United States called the sentences "disproportionate".
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the case added to a "recent upsurge in politically motivated intimidation and prosecution of opposition activists in the Russian Federation".
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the US has "serious concerns about the way that these young women have been treated by the Russian judicial system", while German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the sentence "excessively harsh".
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
23/08/2012 1:39:26 a.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
QUOTE: "Mr Key told media that while he has not had official advice on the case, the sentence "looks a bit disproportionate to me"."Two years is quite a long sentence for the comments that were made."You are correct Mr Key. You could have done more though - you could have started a petition to protest about the long disproportionate sentences. You could have called the petition "Save our Band of Pussy or there will be a riot"I would have signed it and I believe thousands more would have signed it willingly.Labour would automatically protest against the petition as per their DNA and the Greens would call for a Royal Commission of enquiry.Winstone would be upset as he didnt think of it first but would consider adding it to his gold card discounts as there would be obvious health benefits for his band of voters.Mana & the Maori party would refer the matter to the Waitangi Tribunal to see if there were grounds to either launch a similar claim and who should compensate them.Act - would call for an urgent meeting but would have to cancel it as only one person turned up, so Banksy went home but not by helicopter.Such a petition would have MR Putin feel as though he has been put in his place!!!
21/08/2012 4:30:09 p.m.
So it's ok for us to poke into other country business but not the other way round? Typical hypocrites.
21/08/2012 2:51:17 p.m.
i hope they stay in jail
21/08/2012 8:00:25 a.m.
The rank hypocrisy of John Key as he jumps on the bandwagon of decrying the sentences handed out to people engaged in political dissent would be laughable if it wasn't so serious. Does he not recognise that he is presiding over a cabinet that gleefully misuses private information to bully and intimidate private citizens who dare to publicly criticise his Government? This is where New Zealand is heading - the oppression of the people through the stifling of political dissent.
Prime Minister John Key has labelled the Labour-led Opposition the "devil beast"...
What began as a protest for more pay has morphed into a battle against cheap bur...
Police had to physically push anti-poverty protestors back after they tried to b...
Shamed National MP Aaron Gilmore has given a teary final speech in Parliament....
Outgoing National MP Aaron Gilmore has promised "utu" in his validectory speech ...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.