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An excellent report from the New Yorker explaining the current socio-political climate of Russia:

Technically, the three women are prosecuted for hooliganism; a more appropriate definition of their offense would be contempt of high authority. The Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer” was blatantly disrespectful of both Putin and the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. The secular and the clerical leaders share a sense of mutual loyalty. Each of them presides over a heavily centralized, hierarchical power realm; both are intolerant to those challenging their authority.

“The regime is demonstrating an attempt to evolve toward religious fundamentalism,” wrote Nikolai Svanidze, a prominent media figure. He referred to this trend as “a little bit of Iran” in Russia. Piety and faith for their own sake do not appear to be Putin’s concern, however. Instead, the government is drawing on the traditionalist and anti-western attitudes of the Russian Orthodox Church as a way of cracking down on the regime’s liberal opponents.


Meanwhile, several groups and artists have voiced their support for Pussy Riot. Like Franz Ferdinand and the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

“This is for the girls in Pussy Riot,” Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos told the crowd at Sunday’s Afisha Picnic, introducing the song This Fire. ”[It] is dedicated to all of those musicians that end up in jail for just saying what they think.” He expanded his remarks over Twitter, calling Vladimir Putin a “dangerous … hypocrite” for jailing critics while still claiming “to be a fan of John Lennon”.

The Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis and Flea also spoke out on Sunday, during their gig at Moscow’s Luzniky Stadium. Kiedis wore a Pussy Riot T-shirt, and both musicians presented letters to Pyotr Verzilov, Tolokonnikova’s husband. “Nadya and Katya and Masha, we love you, we love to support you and are here to help you,” Kiedis reportedly wrote. Flea hailed their “bravery”, adding, “I pray for your release.”

As well as Sting and Amnesty International:

The world-renowned musician Sting joins Amnesty International in condemning the Russian authorities’ treatment of Pussy Riot, a Russian punk rock protest band.

Last week, a court in Moscow ruled that three members of the female punk group Pussy Riot must remain in pre-trial custody for six more months after members of the group sang a protest song in Moscow’s main Orthodox church in February.

Said Sting:

“It’s appalling that the musicians from Pussy Riot could face prison sentences of up to seven years in jail. Dissent is a legitimate and essential right in any democracy and modern politicians must accept this fact with tolerance. A sense of proportion – and a sense of humor – is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Surely the Russian authorities will completely drop these spurious charges and allow the women, these artists, to get back to their lives and to their children.”


Also, a Russian artist has sewn his mouth shut in solidarity with the punks:








Related:

Russian Punk Martyrs Pussy Riot Given Another Six Months Detention…




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