Pussy Riot Guilty

Pussy Riot, the Russian punk group that’s been detained since March on charges of “”hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” have been found guilty today in court today. Now, they await sentencing; the verdict is still being read (The Guardian is live-blogging the proceedings and Reuters is streaming it). The charges stem from an anti-Putin “punk prayer” performed at Moscow’s Christ The Savior Cathedral. We’ll update as the sentence comes in — apparently, the reading of the verdict can take quite a while in Russia. In the meantime, read defendant Yekaterina Samutsevich’s moving closing statement here. Legions of musicians and activists across the globe have voiced passionate support for the group.

UPDATE: The verdict has been read and the three members of Pussy Riot have been sentenced to two years in prison. Via The Guardian:

The judge has said they are sane and should be punished in accordance with the law.

She has listed attenuating circumstances including children (of two defendants), a lack of previous crime and positive character profiles.

The court concludes that it is not possible to change the charges and make them less grave, “there are no exclusive circumstances to do that”.

And at the same time the motives of the crime and the attitude, the court deems that to restore social justices if they serve a real jail sentence.

And… they will serve jail sentence in prison, the judge has said.

Shouts of “Shame!” were immediately heard in the courtroom.

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Comments (49)
  1. thanks for altering the headline

  2. It’s a sad day for Freedom of Expression.

    • Every day in Russia is a sad day for Freedom of Expression. But to be fair, every day in Russia is a sad day.

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        • The Russian government is arguably not perfect? I think you mean the Russian government is arguably not a flaming shitball of corruption.

        • Criticizing the system in the US is fine, but Russia is really not a good example to “learn from”

        • Maybe I’m in the minority here, but if I had to choose between two hundred years of bullshit corporate free-market propaganda brainwashing or eight hundred years of subjugation under an emperor followed by one of the all time most brutal dictators, I’m going with the free market bullshit.

  3. Wow, Russia is one crooked fucking country.

    • Of course Russia is crooked. When communism fell, everything that used to be publicly owned became private, and was immediately purchased by the only people left with any money- the mafia.

      • Even our Secretary of State admitted that Russia was run by the mob. Starting to wonder if it is any less backward than all the middle east countries we are at war with.

        • Or the USA itself, for that matter.

          • edgy post bro

          • I just think that it’s so easy to see “them” as backwards because they have different customs than us. We’re quite privileged in the western world and it is easy to point fingers at those in other countries who are almost always less privileged. A blanket statement of middle-east countries being backwards seems racist to me.

            Granted, there is a lot wrong in some of these middle-east countries but what about here? Our consumerism is pretty disgusting, wouldn’t you agree? I apologize if I offended anyone but we are not without our problems.

          • My comment wasn’t meant as a blanket statement on the entire middle east, but I’m comfortable saying that the select countries who imprison women for adultery or force girls to marry their rapists are worse than the US.

  4. This is such a disgusting story. I will lose a lot of respect for any band that plays in Russia on their respective tours.

    • Why? It’s the government that sucks there. The people didn’t go after this group. They deserve their shows. And any band that has the balls enough to play there now has my support.

    • You’re so right. Artists should only tour in countries that have never done anything wrong. That’s reasonable.

      • It worked in Arizona.

        • Arizona isn’t a country.

          • I don’t get your point. Honestly, I don’t. Standing up for what you believe is right and just has no borders. It doesn’t matter if it’s a State or a Country. If you believe they’re doing something worth protesting, particularly in regards to human rights, not practicing commerce in that region is a worthy practice. Don’t go there. Don’t spend your money there. And be vocal about the reason why you’ve made those decisions.

          • Shit. I meant “is a worthy protest”.

          • Though ultimately I think I agree with the Arizona boycott, there was a lot of opposition to the idea of bands boycotting Arizona as a touring destination because a) people who attend shows of the bands who were boycotting were likely against the immigration legislation, and it was unfair to punish them, and b) what better breeding ground for a dissenting culture than a concert? I think these two points apply even more to Russia. Music very often sets the stage for discussions of free speech.

            I think it’s a matter of figuring out which option, to go or to boycott, draws more attention to the issue at hand.

        • While I understand that some bands boycotting a country may help, if you were a punk band, you’d would be doing a greater service by touring their, playing to and inspiring audiences and letting a thousand flowers bloom.

  5. The court dropped the lesser charges of Tomfoolery and Monkeyshines.

  6. The whole world was watching this one. I was hoping that would affect the verdict. I guess I’m pretty naive.

  7. Protestors outside the courthouse are being arrested:

    • Including chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. When the nation’s greatest living chess player is being hauled off in a police van, that’s when you know shit has gotten real.

  8. bookmark tolokonnikova as a 2012 gummy awards indie rock crush nominee plz

  9. These women knew exactly what the consequences would be when they expressed themselves the way they did…unbelievably courageous. I hope they’re stand for freedom echoes to all who take it for granted.

  10. today the depression level in russia was raised from gray to a darker shade of gray.

    • However, the people of Russia have to have a lot of respect for these three women. Events like this inspire people to stand up and speak their mind.

  11. Lame. Sad, and lame. Americans really have no idea how good we have it sometimes.

    • This is a very sad event!! I’m not surprised by the verdict though. They are in a Communist country for cryin’ out loud!! What did they think was going to happen?? Freedom of speech&Expression!!?? Not in Russia. Kudo’s for them 4 making a statement, unfortunately it didn’t matter!! I think that someone from the good ol’ U.S. of A. should go there pro-bono & “Represent” them to give Russia a BIG F-U!! 2 years in prison!!?? That is waaay too harsh for what they did!! Hey Putin, how about a fine?? Community service?? 2yrs really?? SAD.

  12. Actually, in Russia hooliganism includes a lot of things like assault and battery, some forms of sexual assault and other semi-violent crimes. This group has performed a lot of other stunts, one of them shoved a chicken into her vagina in a public supermarket (with kids present) etc. At another protest they assaulted a female police officer. Now, obviously, Russia is a pretty shitty place… but it honestly does sound like this group has committed a lot of acts that would be illegal even in the U.S. The sentence is too long. And detaining them for a long period without setting a trial date is wrong. But I also think the coverage and discussion about this has been pretty shallow. People have set them up as complete martyrs who did nothing, when the truth is, they have, on more than one occasion broken laws. They should have gotten community service or something, but the fact is, they aren’t entirely innocent. It’s a geopolitical thing.

    • Well thanks for that, I had no idea!! A chicken in the Vagie?? children present?? That’s not only nasty, but those poor kids were probably traumitized!!! That’s not right doing that shit in front of children!! I agree with you, something deff. had to be done. Prison4 2yrs though?? little harsh. a fine&community service would have sufficed.

    • The chicken/vagina thing was done by Voina, not Pussy Riot. Completely different groups.

      • Well, different groups but not completely different. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who is in Pussy Riot, was in Voina. She’s not the one that stuffed the bird in but there is an affiliation…that doesn’t mean it should necessarily play a role in this sentence but I’m just clarifying.

        • Yekaterina Samutsevich was also in Voina.

          The connection between Pussy Riot and the group Voina has been highlighted by some of the group’s critics and has been called an “aggravating moral circumstance” in the eyes of the conservative public (which constitutes about 60 per cent of Russians).

          Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich participated in some Voina performances. Tolokonnikova was part of a performance in which a number of couples were filmed having sex in the Biology Museum in Moscow in 2008 which has been called an “orgy” in the media. Samutsevich took part in actions which involved releasing live cockroaches in a court room and kissing policewomen in the Moscow metro and on the streets (which in some cases was seen as attempted assault).

  13. Let the pussy free!

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