Prosecutors ask for 3 years in punk case

2012-08-07 14:29
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow — Prosecutors on Tuesday called for three-year sentences for the members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot who performed an anti-Vladimir Putin stunt in Moscow's main cathedral, ignoring demands by human rights groups that the three women be set free.

Prosecutor Alexander Nikiforov portrayed the request as lenient, saying it takes into account the fact that two of the defendants are young mothers and that they have good references.

The hooliganism charges the three women face can carry a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

The three women — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, aged 23; Maria Alekhina, aged 24; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, aged 29 — have been in custody for five months following the February stunt, in which they took over a church pulpit in Christ the Saviour cathedral for less than a minute, singing, high-kicking and dancing.

Their case is part of a widening government crackdown on dissent that followed Putin's election in March and caused strong protests in Russia and abroad. Musicians including Madonna, the Who's Pete Townshend and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys have urged their release.

The verdict is expected this week.

Planned hooliganism


The defendants have said their goal was to express their resentment over Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill's support for Putin's rule. But prosecutors have insisted throughout the trial that there were no political motives behind the performance.

"They set themselves off against the Orthodox world and sought to devalue traditions and dogmas that have been formed for the centuries," Nikiforov said on Tuesday.

Members of the band say they did not mean to hurt anyone's religious feelings when they performed the "punk prayer".

Larisa Pavlova, a lawyer for the church employees who were described as the injured party in the case told the court on Tuesday that she supports the sentencing recommendation.

Pavlova said most hooliganism in Russia is committed when people are drunk and they often regret what they have done — but the defendants "thoroughly planned, rehearsed [their performance] and were fully aware of what they were doing".

"And they had the audacity to say in court that they did the right thing, that it's OK and that they're ready to keep on doing such things," Pavlova said.

Calls for pardon ignored


Tolokonnikova chuckled as Pavlova mentioned in her speech that feminism in Russia is incompatible with Orthodox faith.

The trial has sharply divided Russia. Some believers felt insulted by the act, while rights groups have declared the women prisoners of conscience.

Orthodox leaders have ignored calls by many believers to pardon the women and urge the court to dismiss the case.

Russian veteran rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva told the Interfax news agency that a jail sentence for Pussy Riot would be "a disgrace for Russia and the Orthodox Church".

Amnesty International has said it considers the three women to be prisoners of conscience "detained solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs".

- AP
Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  russia protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.