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Trial of Russian rock band members charged with hooliganism with religious hatred begins

Trial of Russian rock band members charged with hooliganism with religious hatred begins

The trial of three members of the Russian rock band, Pussy Riot, begins today.  The musicians have been held in jail for almost five months with no bail and no end in sight.  They each face up to seven years in prison.

When more than 1,000 people took to the streets of Moscow to protest Vladimir Putin's rule, the punk rock members stormed the altar of Christ the Savior Cathedral in February and sang an anti-Putin punk prayer which included the line, "Virgin Mary, drive Putin away."  They were only there for about a minute, but believers were offended.

The three musicians are charged with "hooliganism with religious hatred."

Although church and state are officially separate under Russia's constitution, the Orthodox Church is one Putin's primary supporters and claims that it is playing a leading role in setting moral standards.  This cozy relationship has motivated much of the Russian public, Amnesty International and others to champion the Pussy Riot cause.

Violetta Volkova, a lawyer for the band, says "[The documents] try not to make it look like a political case … but for us, it's obviously political.  And when somebody says there are no political prisoners in this country, we feel like laughing."


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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    You know, I understand the words, seen the videos, etc etc, but I don't know what they did that was so wrong that it warrants all this time in jail, with no end in sight and no bail. Yes, they made a public disruption and all, but I think the punishment isn't fitting the crime, which I think that is what a lot of people, including Russian citizens are saying too. Seven years in prison for "Hooliganism"? That seems a bit much too. It would seem to me, that all this time in jail should be considered "time served" when all of this ends, but Russia is different from the U.S. However, I don't see this as giving someone human rights, not even freedom of speech. If anything, I would think a public disruption should be a misdemeanor with a fine at the very least and a very short time in jail at most.

    • Deborah_B

      This is the Russian Orthodox Church in action. Their protests were tolerated until they "set foot on holy ground."

      • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

        That's probably why I don't understand this. It's all crazy religion in action.

  • skater60

    Kids will be kids and Russia will be Russia.

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  • Pingback: Pussy Riot punk rock singers sentenced to 2 year jail for 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and enmity' | God Discussion

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