Russian punk band and political activist group Pussy Riot have been enduring a painfully fascist trial over their protest of Russian President Vladmir Putin, a now-infamous performance in Moscow’s main cathedral with the Pussy gals singing a prayer to Mary for the removal of Putin. Charged with “hooliganism” motivated by “religious hatred,” the activists were facing a maximum sentence of seven years for such shenanigans, though the prosecution was pushing for three years, describing their use of naughty words in church as “an abuse of God.” If that’s the case, Russia, then watch out, I’m a goddamned terrorist.
The trial as of yesterday has officially ended, and much to the surprise of Pussy Riot and their lawyers, the verdict has been delayed for another week. The band’s lawyers had been expecting a quick conviction for the full three-year sentence, but the judge’s delay in sentencing has offered a gleam of hope.
“To take a quick decision under such pressure is very dangerous for the authorities, so they’ve taken a time out,” lawyer Nikolai Polozov said. “No matter what the verdict is, we have won.”
Band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who has described the charges as “political order for repression,” commented on the impending verdict, saying, “Even though we are behind bars, we are freer than those people.”
Media sources are attributing this potentially lighter sentence to the amount of media coverage and celebrity support of Pussy Riot. China has expressed their solidarity as well.
• Free Pussy Riot: http://www.freepussyriot.org