Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

World’s leading pop stars plead for Pussy Riot parole ahead of hearing

Published time: July 22, 2013 15:55
Edited time: July 22, 2013 17:06
American singer Madonna at her concert at the Olympiysky sports complex, Moscow.(RIA Novosti / Liza Belova)

American singer Madonna at her concert at the Olympiysky sports complex, Moscow.(RIA Novosti / Liza Belova)

U2, Madonna and Adele are among over a hundred of the world’s most famous artists who have signed an Amnesty International petition asking for the release of two members of the Russian group Pussy Riot, days before their parole review hearings.

“The impact of your shockingly unjust trial and imprisonment has spread far and wide,” says an open letter to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who are both serving two year prison terms for an anti-religious performance in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in February 2012.

“While understanding the sensitivities of protesting in a place of worship, we ask that the Russian authorities review these harsh sentences, so that you may return to your children, your families and your lives.”

25-year-old Alyokhina and 23-year-old Tolokonnikova are appealing against an earlier decision to refuse them parole on Wednesday and Friday respectively.

Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhin and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.(RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

The two have spent almost a year behind bars following a high-profile trial, in which they were indicted for “inciting religious hatred through hooliganism”.

Pussy Riot’s performance – entitled Punk Prayer – consisted of climbing on the altar of Moscow’s main cathedral before shouting a poem directed against the Orthodox Church and its ties with President Vladimir Putin.  The performance provoked outrage from senior church officials, and sparked a heated social debate.

Last week Alyokhina alleged that she was beaten by her guards during her transfer from her penal colony to her parole review. Authorities admitted restraining the inmate, but said she did not suffer injuries.

Both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova have refused to admit guilt, and remained defiant while in custody – both factors were listed as reasons for denying them early release during hearings this spring.

A third member of the loose collective, Ekaterina Samutsevich, was released on probation late last year.

Scores of musicians visiting Russia over the past 18 months – such as Madonna and rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers – have shown support for Pussy Riot by wearing t-shirts with their name or making statements from the stage.

Among other signatories to the open letter include Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Radiohead and Coldplay.

Screenshot from Pussy Riot video


Comments (12)

 

K.D. 23.12.2013 11:36

All the entertainers that destroy morals through their expression supporting these stuls <~~ talk about birds of a feather

 

Sasha 27.07.2013 03:41

Anonymous user 22.07.2013 20:51

Really stupid. It would be better if they used what little energy they have in getting Gitmo closed.

  


Gitmo is now open to chechen svinya. and other terrorists. Remember the beslan school massacre, the nordstrom incident in mockba and now the boston bomba deaths. Now America has imported Russia's Chechen "problem." I hope we find a final solution to our shared muslim "question"

 

Sasha 27.07.2013 03:33

Anonymous user 22.07.2013 16:23

What could have happened to them if they had demonstrated in a church in the US? Pepper spray &amp; jail

  


America is the land of the free! I am in law enforcement. Most likely the shlukha would ignore my order to cease disturbing the peace, so as I tried to arrest her for trespass, disturbing the peace. As she resisted arrest, I would deploy my tazer. This only after she resisted arrest. when she goes down, i drop my knee to her legs, restrain her arms to cuff her. I may pepper spray the griasnaya cyka if & only if she ran her mouth. U.S is a free country!

View all comments (12)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us