Friday, August 17, 2012

Pussy Riot Band Members Sentenced To Two Years (Video)

ALSO SEE: UNCENSORED VIDEO: FEMEN Cuts Down Cross In To Protest Conviction of Pussy Riot  

August 17, 2012 - [VIDEO of sentencing] - All three members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot sat in a glass cage as they awaited their verdicts and sentencing (photo below)

The three women were found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and enmity" in a Moscow court today.

Each woman was sentenced to serve two years in a medium-security prison, with their sentences to begin retroactively on the day they were arrested five months ago. 

"The Judge said they showed flagrant disregard for the church parishioners and the fundamentals of the Orthodox faith," reports Russia Today (RT). “By their actions, Samutsevich, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina seriously disrupted public order and the day-to-day running of the Cathedral. They showed blatant disrespect to church-goers and workers, and in doing so gravely offended their religious sensibilities,” Judge Syrova said. (See video of their earlier street protest performances below.)

Photo:  Misha Japaridze/AP via The Guardian UK
"The judge has said they are sane, wrote The Guardian's Shiv Malik on a live blog, "and should be punished in accordance with the law." Malik wrote that the female judge "listed attenuating circumstances including children (of two defendants), a lack of previous crime and positive character profiles."

"The three women were arrested in March," reports CBS News,  after staging a protest performance "in Moscow's main cathedral in February calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a new term as Russia's president a few days later."

Pro-Pussy Riot demonstrations are already ongoing worldwide. It would be equally correct, by the way, to call them "anti-Putin" demonstrations. CBS News notes that the likes of "Paul McCartney, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Peaches, the Pet Shop Boys and Bjork, have called for the band members to be freed. In a letter released Thursday, McCartney urged the three band members to "stay strong" and called on authorities to allow them freedom of speech."

Read the post-verdict comments on Pussy Riot's Facebook page.

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