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The Ill-Tempered Audiophool

Pussy Riot Sentencing a 'Bitter Blow' to Freedom in Russia

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If you haven't been following this story, and are concerned about artistic (or any other form of) freedom of expression, this is about a Russian punk rock group who have been jailed following a sham trial for criticizing Putin.

Amnesty International has adopted the three women convicted of thought-crimes as "Prisoners of Conscience", a designation the politically impartial human rights organization reserves for the most blatant forms of political incarceration.

The full Amnesty International press release describes the situation in detail.

The Pussy Riot case received broad coverage abroad and generated the support of many international artists, including Sting, Madonna, Yoko Ono and Bjork. On Tuesday, Amnesty International delivered more than 70,000 petitions in support of the group to the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C., where the organization has held multiple punk rallies, including a demonstration this morning as the verdict was announced.

Comments

  1. ringenesherre's Avatar
    I will in no way defend the court and its ruling, but it is really hard to understand this story without a lot of background about Russian culture. I have personal and professional contacts both to Russians living in the EU and to Russians living in Russia. I would group most of them as liberal/progressive and open-minded. But they all think that the only bad thing about this ruling is that these mothers are going to be away from their children. And they blame the women for making such a stupid choice of action instead of the court for what they consider a completely normal, non-political ruling.

    Hard for me to follow, but it seems that church fx is really (still?) considered as something sacred by the majority of people, even if they hold secular views themselves.

    Cheers,
    Peter
  2. MikeJazz's Avatar
    I am an atheist, and I am also respectful for the religious symbols of each culture.
    I think there should be limits on artistic expression, and maybe they crossed them.

    In this case, it seems that they were more blamed for annoying Putin than for the religious offence.
    The fact that Orthodox Church asked for clemency is positive and would open the door to avoid conviction.

    I believe their conviction will create many more pussy riots...

    What is worrying is that the local rock bands seem more concerned in making money and not be hostile, instead of using their visibility to increase freedom of speech and of artistic expression.

    There is a Long way for Russian, and the road is full of rocks - the fear, the money, the mafias...
  3. esldude's Avatar
    I would think most rock bands are mostly concerned with making money. A few aren't. If 5% are using their visibility for increased freedom that is plenty.

    Have followed this story, and I do think the only important thing was Putin didn't like it, and the most worrying is sham trials apparently are the norm if Putin or other high ranking people wish it so. Once again Russia only seems on the surface to be like western countries and actually is something different internally. Going back a couple hundred years Russia seems to be westernizing, but never quite gets there. If you do something halfway, and then halfway again, and then halfway again well you get the point. You never quite get there.