Pussy Riot Sentenced to Two-Year Jail Sentence After Protest

Russia Pussy Riot

Protesters and supporters gathered outside the Russian Consulate General building as the female Russian punk band, Pussy Riot, was sentenced to two-years of jail time after staging an anti-Kremlin protest on the alter of Moscow’s Russian Orthodox church. The sentence does however include time served. The groups supporters broke out into shouts and chants of “shame” as the sentence was passed, many believing that this was Vladimir Putin exercising his power in his new six-year term as president.

Last March Yekaterina Samutsevich (29), Nadezhada Tolokonnikova (22), and Maria Alyokhina (24) donned bright colored ski masks, short skirts, and tights before rushing to the alter of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral to begin their protest against Putin’s close ties with the church. They performed a guerrilla performance, high kicking and dancing while singing a punk prayer, pleading with the Virgin Mary to save Russia from the new president.

Judge Marina Syrova presided over their trial and passed their sentence, stating that they “committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred.” She rejected all of the women’s protests as they attempted to defend themselves as they were protesting the church’s support for Putin. They claim to have had no intention of offending religious believers as they have been accused of. They sat quietly, smiling sadly as the Judge read off witness testimony that described the women performing “devilish dances” and sacrilege upon the alter. The women remained calm and composed, still smiling as the judge read off their two year sentence.

After the conviction, the church issued a statement, stating that the bands protest performance was “sacrilege,” and “a reflection of rude animosity toward millions of people and their feelings.” Yet within the same statement, they asked the authorities to “show clemency towards the convicted in the hope that they will refrain from new sacrilegious actions.” With this being said, many laws had just been passed to crack down on opposition. One of these laws has raised the fine for unauthorized demonstrations to 300,000 rubies, which equals out to around $9,000.

Putin too, spoke in the aftermath of the protest, saying that the women shouldn’t be judged to harshly, and (perhaps) should be given time served and released in the courtroom. He did not say the latter part himself, but it was hinted, although it would not come to pass, as it would have given the impression that Putin would bow to public pressure, something he has resisted throughout his entire 12 years of power.

Pussy Riot Sentenced To 2 years In Prison For ‘Hooliganism’

Three punk rock-style activists who briefly took over a cathedral in a raucous prayer for deliverance from Vladimir Putin were sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism on Friday, a decision that drew protests around the world as it highlighted the Russian president’s intensifying crackdown on dissent.

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