Pussy Riot Appeals Jail Sentences

Three members of the Pussy Riot punk band have appealed a court's decision to jail them for two years for their "punk prayer" against Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Pussy Riot Appeals Jail Sentences
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Three members of the Pussy Riot punk band have appealed a court's decision to jail them for two years for their "punk prayer" against Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral, their lawyer said Monday. The stunt angered Russia's dominant Orthodox Church, but the women's trial and punishment also upset human rights activists and others who accused the Kremlin and the Church of orchestrating the trial amid a crackdown on Putin's critics. Protests supporting the women have been held in many countries, and celebrities such as Paul McCartney have called for their release. The women were arrested and put on trial after their unauthorized performance at Moscow's Christ the Savior cathedral in February, during which they called on the Virgin Mary to deliver Russia from Putin. The Russian leader faces growing opposition, and he has increasingly cracked down on critics since returning to the presidency in May. The women were sentenced on Aug. 17, and their lawyer Violetta Volkova said the appeal was submitted to the Khamovniki district court on Monday. A decision is expected within 10 days. Meanwhile, the band has said that at least two of its members have fled Russia to avoid arrest. Also Monday, Orthodox Church leaders condemned the chopping down of wooden crosses in Russia and neighboring Ukraine by people claiming to support Pussy Riot. In mid-August, the controversial Ukrainian group Femen, whose topless members stage pranks to support women's rights, cut down a massive Orthodox cross in Kiev to protest the band members' conviction. Four more crosses were cut down in the northern Russian region of Archangelsk and the Urals region of Chelyabinsk over the weekend. Church spokesman Vladimir Legoida said that the vandals "taunt" Russian culture and history. Pussy Riot manager Pyotr Verzilov said last week that the band disapproved of damaging crosses. Thanks to Billboard for the report.

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    iommi600
    Best of luck to these girls. The "hooliganism" sentence actually means "Putin is shitting his pants".
    dennis.1960
    So if a band called "Penis Rampage" setup in an Alabama fundamentalist Christian church and gave a performance that ended with them asking the holy ghost to deliver the US from Obama, what would happen?
    hotdogs585
    "Also Monday, Orthodox Church leaders condemned the chopping down of wooden crosses in Russia and neighboring Ukraine by people claiming to support Pussy Riot." Well no shit, you can't just walk up to a building and start chopping down stuff you don't happen to like.
    Lil' Pookie
    "Talk shit about the church and we'll Fuck your shit up." -commandments 1,2,and 3
    dankhus
    I wasn't standing up for them - au contraire. And while I agree with you that the band blows, that's not the reason they're in jail (thankfully).
    dankhus
    It doesn't even really matter to them anymore, they got what they wanted. They were nobodies before this, did nothing to amount to anything and now they have the support of people like Madonna and McCartney. And in fact they got away easily, the sentence was for huliganism aggravated by religious hatred, if it had been instigation to hatred, they'd have gotten 5 years. They're the kind of persons others admire without thinking too much about it. Sad.
    electricblue2
    They got what they deserved. All the people defending this with "free speech!11" are unbelievable.
    ColdbringeR
    Considering most of that state is already praying to the holy ghost for said deliverance, they would likely be a huge hit.
    GlacierMan
    So, people can walk into a church, start wailing about their government, start insulting the religion who's church they are in, then get upset when they are punished?
    Maestro1600
    I don't want to come over all patronising, but there is an awful lot more to Russian politics than that, especially surrounding Putin. I don't necessarily agree with the method, and I think there is a certain naivety to them, but the sentence is clearly disproportional to the crime. And the prosecution were pushing for even tougher sanctions! Freedom of speech is an important right. They may have not got it quite right, but the Russian authorities are actively trying to silence a number of anti-Putin, anti-Orthodox Church groups.
    dankhus
    These girls tried anything and everything to gain popularity by being offensive, they finally hit it with the Church. They did get away countless times. They were looking to victimize themselves and did not stop until it happened. The support they get is almost as pathetic as what they accomplished.
    sakura'sdarkest
    It was a prayer, it was an unorthodox prayer (admittedly this is even more ironic since they were in an Orthodox Church) but it was a prayer none the less.
    Ailishh
    Why should religion be so protected? It has hindered humanity for thousands of years. Everybody should have the right to walk into a church an insult the religion just has anybody has the right to protest anything else. And they certainly shouldn't be 'punished' as you put it, particularly not by a prison sentence.
    91RG350
    I wonder if, when they were arrested, the police put them in the Pussy Wagon?