Russian girl band Pussy Riot on trial
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 11:17p.m.
By Ali Ikram
Vladmir Putin is many things, but a man to be trifled with he is not. Now lined up against the Russian president is a band that goes by the name Pussy Riot.
They go on trial this week.
Punk rock is alive and well in Russia.
It was all-girl combo Pussy Riot’s performance in the country's main cathedral calling on the virgin Mary to overthrow president Vladmir Putin and end alleged corruption in the orthodox church that has seen three of them on trial .
The case is dividing the country.
"A society without moral grounds can be far worse than the society that is too harsh to performances like this so to speak so you have to balance things,” a supporter of the band says.
The trio are charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, and if found guilty face up to seven years in prison.
They've already spent five months in prison awaiting trial - a fact that’s worrying their children.
"My daughter is constantly asking what is happening,” says Pyotr Verzilov, whose wife is in the band. “She draws the plans for releasing her from jail. She is imagining how to use trolleys and tractors to destroy the walls of prison."
But in the women's corner is Amnesty International, rock heavyweights like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a man in St Petersburg who sewed his mouth shut.
With their lawyer claiming the women violated an administrative code not a criminal one and there for are only up for a $40 fine
"That's why we presume the whole criminal trial is illegitimate despite all state filters and therefore any verdict except for non guilty will be illegal," Pussy Riot’s lawyer Nikolai Polozov says.
Either way, what started as a poorly performed ditty in brightly coloured knitwear has become a battle for the soul of modern Russia.
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31/07/2012 9:05:20 a.m.
A country that makes it illegal to speak against its leader has ZERO freedom and is under rule by a malicious dictator. If Russians are ok with that then fine else stand up and fight for free speech, something that all countries are trying to destroy. Even western countries are slowly removing peoples freedom and we just sit back and let it happen.
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