Russian Judge Sentences Pussy Riot Members For Two Years For 40 Seconds of “Hooliganism”

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has called Vladimir Putin and his return to power “a miracle of God.” Orthodox priests try to kiss Putin’s hand like a demigod when he visits religious sites. Well that “miracle” continued today as prosecutors secured a conviction of three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism for a forty second protest in a Russian church protesting the alliance of Putin and the Church. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23; Maria Alekhina, 24; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, faced a maximum seven years in prison and Putin government sought three years in jail. They got two years. That is one years for every twenty seconds of protest in Putin’s New Russia.


Everything about the case is deeply troubling for civil liberties. Not only is the Putin government pandering to the Church by pursuing the long prosecution over a brief protest but the sentence is absurd. Judge Marina Syrova emphasized that the crime involved offending religious believers — part of a trend of prosecuting people for blasphemy or insult to religion. We have been following anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard. Syrova declared “The girls’ actions were sacrilegious, blasphemous and broke the church’s rules.” Notably, Syrova has reportedly only once given a not guilty verdict in 179 cases.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189771/Pussy-Riot-punk-band-members-jailed-2-years-Russian-court-hooliganism-motivated-religious-hatred.html#ixzz23tVNqC9p

Hundreds are protesting the sentence but there remains relatively little response to the erosion of basic civil liberties under Putin or his unholy alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church. The Putin government appears to relish the international outcry as further showing the Church that Putin is the defender of the faith. Recently when Madonna proclaimed support for the group in Russia, a senior Putin official denounced her as a “whore.” Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister, went on Twitter to say “With age, every former whore tries to lecture everyone on morality.” Clearly, that is the job of Vladimir Putin — faux archeologist, former KGB agent, demigod, and defender of the faith.

28 thoughts on “Russian Judge Sentences Pussy Riot Members For Two Years For 40 Seconds of “Hooliganism””

  1. pete,

    Mentioning Palin in the same article as Pussy Riot? You keep talking like that and the porn producers from Reseda are going to be knocking down your door. You just may have a future in film. Sure, it may be behind the cameras, but the fringe benefits are super freakin’.

  2. Collectivism is not equivalent to totalitarianism, but the totalitarians operating under politically expedient theocratic cover understand who they are just fine based upon their actions.

  3. Well color me amazed that the Pussy Riot verdict and the one below came on the same day. When the Church makes a deal with the government (for support) in Russia they don’t let any grass grow under their feet in closing the deal. Wow.

    “Moscow outlaws LGBT pride parades for next 100 years”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/17/moscow-outlaws-lgbt-pride-parades-for-next-100-years/

    See also the “Glorifying Sin” portion of this article:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4714818.stm

  4. They have never left the authoritarian statehood form, IMHO.

    Having for generations been living under a terror regime where survival lay in imitating even the smiles of a satisfied person to escape questions (are you dissatisfied?), they could never imagine what freedom of expression could be. Organized expression was of course as before, and eagerly embraced since it paid, if not well.

    Even exemplaryi conduct was useless as a defense in the Sovjet, all stones were turned over routinely, and anything found under was seized and a case built whether there were grounds or not.

    Long live the Sovjet Union. Putin reigns.
    He perhaps does not drink as much as Stalin, but he is crazier than Stalin.

    Hope only that his military are not as crazy as ours.

  5. This certainly gives credibility to the notion of jury nullification. Our state’s jury instructions are clearly designed to prevent jury nullification. While there have been abuses of this, the pussy riot case is exactly what nullification is designed for, that is to be the last line of defense for the accused who is actually a victim of the politicians or gov’t.

  6. Strange Bedfellows considering the history since 1917, but not for the history prior to 1917. Czar Vladimir should probably commission the family of Karl Faberge to commission an Easter Egg for him, where the surprise is the resurrection of Joe Stalin.

  7. Putin is leading the Russian people back down the slippery slope into authoritarianism. On second thought, they may already be there.

  8. Moving forward in reverse. Putin gets scarier every day. His use of the gulag to oppress dissent is practically Stalin-esque and has been for some time, but this recent partnering with the Russian Orthodox Church smells of bad craziness waiting to happen.

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