Skip to comments.Prosecutor Seeks Jail for Russian Punk Rock Band Protest [in Cathedral]
Posted on 08/07/2012 8:31:12 AM PDT by marshmallow
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A state prosecutor on Tuesday demanded a three-year jail term for three women from the punk band Pussy Riot, saying they had abused God when they stormed the altar of a Moscow cathedral and sang a "protest prayer" against the Russian Orthodox Church's close links to Vladimir Putin.
The case, in which the three are charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, has outraged many Russian Orthodox believers.
But it has also caused an international outcry and focused attention on a crackdown on dissent since Putin returned to the presidency for a six-year term on May 7.
"The actions of the accomplices clearly show religious hatred and enmity," federal prosecutor Alexei Nikiforov said in closing arguments, watched by the women's lawyers, friends and family in the tiny courtroom.
"There was real mockery and humiliation directed at the people in the church," he said.
The defendants looked pale and tired as they sat silently in a glass and metal courtroom cage, two of them scribbling notes. Their lawyer said the demand for a prison sentence was disproportionate and shameful.
Nikiforov did not press the court for the maximum seven-year sentence. Putin said last week that Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, had done "nothing good" but should not be judged too harshly.
But the prosecutor ignored pleas by the opposition and human rights groups not to seek jail terms over the profanity-laced protest, in which the trio, wearing balaclavas and short dresses, burst into the Christ the Saviour Cathedral and belted out a song urging the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin.
"Using swear words in a church is an abuse of God," Nikiforov said.
He dismissed the defendants' argument that the protest was not intended to offend believers and was aimed at.....
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If they'd done this in a park there wouldn't be a problem. There have been anti-Putin protests all over Moscow and St. Petersburg recently.
Putin's Russia defends the sacred and fights blasphemy and sacrilege and the secularists hate it.
Oh please. This is Putin’s way of crushing dissent - pick on a bunch of young girls and bully his critics into silence. Once a KGB thug, always a KGB thug. This is probably giving Dear Leader Obama ideas.
I hope the girls do not get any jail time.
Second, Putin is not a defender of the faith - he is a KGB toad who has aligned with the Orthodox Church for political reasons.
"The last temptation is the greatest treason - to do the right deed for the wrong reason." - T.S. Eliot, writing about another desecration.
Why? Even the US “freedom of speech” does not include trespassing and interrupting a church service.
I think “abusing God” is a ludicrous charge, and “religious hatred” is a stupid modifier to the charges, but hooliganisism, disturbing the peace, trespass, etc., are pretty valid.
And none of those charges you mention would bring jail time to a first offender, here in America.
Radical atheists storming churches probably brings back bad memories in Russia.
“And none of those charges you mention would bring jail time to a first offender, here in America.”
Always? This lady was robbed then both the first time and the second:
I respect the Orthodox Church and I don't want to minimize the offensiveness of a protest in a sanctuary. However, I have seen much, much more offensive things targeting my own beloved church --- I saw ACT-UP gay provocateurs in St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC years ago --- and I wouldn't even give them 3 years, even though their protest was incomparably more malicious and vulgar.
These gals are political, passionate, misdirected in a way that shows poor judgment but not malice. Let them go with 100 hours community service helping some good God-pleasing Russian nuns. That should do it, I think.
It would be good for everyone.
Here is a link about an activity of so-called art-group “War”. That is a nasty neo-bolshevik group and “Pussy Riot” is a feminist wing of “War”.
They were invovled in numerous “art performances” mostly against church and law-enforcement most of the acts are clearly criminal.
That include public orgies, robbing a supermarket by a person wearing a mix of police uniform and priest’s dress, burning and turning upside down police vehicles etc.
This one last “performance” in church was simply too much.
I never said always. Also you do not know how many other times she had been in front of a judge. You just know that she was jailed for both occurrances at Fort Benning. But usually there is no jail time for any of those charges for someone who otherwise has a clean record.