Russia Jails Feminist Punk Band ‘Pussy Riot’Trio for ‘Hooliganism’

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Three members of the feminist punk band “Pussy Riot” have been sentenced to two years in prison each by a Moscow court after being found guilty of “hooliganism” driven by religious hatred.

Reports say the three women have been in jail since March after the band put on a brief performance in Moscow’s main cathedral calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against newly-elected President Vladimir Putin.

However, the women, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, denied the charges.

pussy
Seven members of the band Pussy Riot.

Earlier this week, the arrest of the women attracted international attention for Russia’s intolerance of dissent.

Today in DC, Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the United States is concerned about both the verdict and the disproportionate sentences handed down by a Moscow court in the case against the members of Pussy Riot and the negative impact on freedom of expression in Russia.

“We urge Russian authorities to review this case and ensure that the right to freedom of expression is upheld.” – Ms. Nuland

In March this year, Vladimir Putin claimed victory in Russia’s presidential election.

Media reports say Mr Putin, the country’s current President won nearly 64% of the vote.

The 2012 Russian presidential election was held on 4th of March 2012. There were five officially registered candidates: four representatives of registered parties and one independent.

Polls revealed that the 59-year-old former KGB spy garnered around 60% of the vote which is enough to avoid a run-off against the second-placed candidate.

Mr. Putin was president between 2000 and 2008. He is now set to secure a new six-year term in the Kremlin.

The United States of America congratulated the Russian people on the completion of the Presidential elections.

Earlier this year, a panel of senior European and Russian politicians in Venice said that the likely return of Vladimir Putin as President of the Russian Federation will ensure “positive stability.”

Despite recent protests in Moscow, and protests across the major cities of Russia expected in the lead up to the election, the panel said that Mr Putin was still the most popular politician in Russia.

Among those giving publicly verbal support to Pussy Riot, were music celebrities Paul McCartney, Madonna and Bjork.

Free Pussy Riot support act

Sydney duo Bec and Ben thrash out a song in support of the jailed Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/pussy-riot-band-members-jailed-for-two-years-20120817-24dxu.html#ixzz23xrGTbt9

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.