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Reactions to Russia 'Pussy Riot' verdict


Russia

Reactions to Russia 'Pussy Riot' verdict

The EU and US have expressed concern over the verdict and two year jail sentences given to three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

Having been found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for their performance at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in February, the trio – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Marina Alyokhina, 24 and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30 – will spend another 19 months behind bars. They have already been in prison for five months.

Russian blogger and opposition figure Alexei Navalny criticised the ruling:

“For us, for everyone, even those who didn’t like Pussy Riot’s protest, this is a demonstration of the degradation of legal rights. What happened was an inquisition. When the judge said that ‘hooliganism’ means obvious lack of respect, well, what happened in the courtroom was an obvious lack of respect on the part of this court,” he said.

However, some people are offended by the Pussy Riot protest and support for the trio is not universal.

“It is not enough! We want the heaviest possible punishment. What they did deserves the most severe punishment. And therefore the prosecution has made an adequate decision,” said anti-Pussy Riot activist Alexander Parkhomenko.

Ex-chess champion and pro-democracy activist Garry Kasparov is one of a number of people arrested outside the Moscow court before the verdict.

The prosecution is seen by some as part of a crackdown on dissent by Russian president Vladimir Putin, now on his third term after a four-year spell as prime minister.

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