Pussy Riot Found Guilty, Given Two Years Jail Time

pussy riot
If you’ve been reading headlines lately, you’re probably aware of the international controversy that erupted when Russian punk band Pussy Riot played their “punk prayer” (video below) on the alter of Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral in protest of Vladimir Putin. They were arrested and charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and a trial has been on-going the last 5 months. Today, all three of the women in Pussy Riot were found guilty and sentenced to two full years of jail time. Moreover, apparently over 80 protestors outside the courthouse have already been arrested. Live updates can be found here. While I suppose we should not be surprised by the corruption of Russia’s court systems and the lack of freedom of expression, I am still amazed and angered, as I imagine about a quarter of the Western world is.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevic

While you probably don’t need my commentary here, as an International Relations major, some professor in San Diego would cringe if I didn’t give a wee bit of analysis. Ultimately, it’s incredible how little Russian’s freedom rights have changed since the Cold War ended. Not to say that it was better before the Wall fell, but to watch how tightly Putin has gripped Russia through the past decade is unreal. Even with Putin’s one-time successor Dmitry Medvedev stepping in, Putin still retained ridiculous control in an almost puppet-like way. Moreover, the fact that their sentence was under “religious” and not political grounds–even when the band has publicly stated multiple times that it was about Putin–is asinine. Anyhow, it’s a sad day to see this. May Pussy Riot find an appeal or some hope in this situation.

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  1. [...] the disappointing news that Russian punk band Pussy Riot has been found guilty and sentenced to two years of jail time, there is a bit of bright news. The band managed to release a new–and very well [...]

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