Pussy Riot Member Freed From Two Year Jail Sentence




A court in Moscow has freed one of the three convicted women from the art/punk band Pussy Riot, but upheld the two year jail sentence for the other two. The three women appeared behind a glass cage in court, facing a three-judge panel. Yekaterina Samutsevich 30 was released to cheers in the court room. The appeal hearing saw the trio defiantly defending their performance/protest piece, stating the song was political and not aimed at the Russian Orthodox Church.  “Punk Prayer”  implored the Virgin Mary to “throw out” President Vladimir Putin and sought to highlight the Russian Orthodox Church leader’s support for the president enraged the Church. The Church hierarchy said the women’s action “cannot be left unpunished”, it added that any penitence shown should be taken into consideration.

Earlier last month, Samutsevich, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, were found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”. Their imprisonment sparked worldwide international condemnation. Samutsevich’s lawyer put forward the evidence  that Samutsevich had been evicted from the cathedral before she could  remove her guitar from its case to perform the “punk prayer”. The other band members hugged Samutsevich when the decision was read out.

Opinion polls in Russia suggest a majority backing the sentence against Pussy Riot. One poll found 43% of respondents considered the sentence too lenient. Pussy Riot top the ArtLyst Power 100, The Alternative 2012 Visual Art Power List this year

ArtLyst Power 100

 


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