Russian Punks 'Pussy Riot' Jailed Additional Six Months

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Common Dreams

Russian Punks 'Pussy Riot' Jailed Additional Six Months

by
Common Dreams staff

A supporter of female Russian punk band Pussy Riot holds a poster as he pickets outside a Moscow courthouse in March. (photo: AFP)

Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot were ordered to stay in pre-trial detention an additional six months on Friday highlighting the crackdown on dissent of the Putin regime.

The trio was arrested in February after performing an anti-Putin song, "Virgin Mary, Redeem us of Putin," in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, and news agencies report they face charges of "hoolaginism.'

"This is a political trial. This is not justice but repression with a political motive," one of their lawyers, Mark Feigin, said after the ruling.

Father of band member Yekaterina Samutsevich said outside the courthouse, "Russia is turning into a totalitarian state."

"These three activists have now been behind bars for months, awaiting a trial that should not be taking place, " said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia director. "Even if the three women did take part in the protest, detention on the serious criminal charge of hooliganism would not be a justifiable response to the peaceful – if, to many, offensive - expression of their political beliefs."

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