Prison looms for anti-Putin punk protestors
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 6:04a.m.
Three feminist punk rockers in Russia face a possible three years in prison for barging into Moscow's main cathedral to sing a song against Vladimir Putin as he set out to reclaim the presidency.
Wearing ski masks and miniskirts in garish colors, the Pussy Riot band members danced and high-kicked while belting out this refrain:
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away.Put Putin away, put Putin away.
The case has caused international outrage and split Russian society. Some say the women deserve to be punished for desecrating the Russian Orthodox Church and offending believers, while others insist that the women - who have already been in jail for five months - are being unfairly punished for their political beliefs.
The three women, all in their 20s, said their goal was to express their resentment over the church's open support for Putin's rule.
Pussy Riot first gained notoriety during the height of this winter's anti-Putin protests, when a video of their performance on Red Square became an internet hit. Standing on top of a stone platform once used for reading out the czar's decrees, the women sang a song called 'Putin Got Scared'.
The refrain goes like this:
Revolt in Russia - the charisma of protestRevolt in Russia - Putin got scaredRevolt in Russia - We exist!Revolt in Russia - Riot! Riot!
As the trial nears the end, prosecutors on Tuesday called for three-year prison sentences, which they said was lenient because the hooliganism charges they face carry a maximum sentence of seven years. They said they took into account that two of the women have young children and that they have good character references.
Putin has criticised the punk rockers, but said their punishment shouldn't be "too severe". Speaking during a visit to the London Olympics last week, Putin suggested that the women should be grateful they didn't try such a stunt in Russia's Caucasus, which is predominantly Muslim.
"If they had desecrated some Islamic holy site, we wouldn't even have had time to take them into custody," Putin said.
Putin's comments triggered speculation that the Kremlin was trying to find a way to resolve the case without appearing weak or further angering either side.
Closing arguments for the three women - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich - are scheduled for Wednesday. The judge's ruling could come as soon as Wednesday, as well.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
8/08/2012 11:43:40 p.m.
gezzzsus, i thought this was 2012, people all over the world should have the right to protest and speak out against what
ever they want! 3 year sentence is a joke!!!
Hopes dimmed for talks aimed at ending the Afghan war when an angry President Ha...
The numbers of refugees and those displaced by conflict within their own nation ...
The royals' office has released some of the expectant couple's plans, although m...
Appealing for a new citizen activism in the free world, President Barack Obama h...
Scattered street demonstrations popped up around Brazil, continuing protests aga...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.