Pussy Riot trial denounced as 'politically motivated'
Posted: 30 July 2012
As the trial of members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot gets underway today in Moscow over a protest song Virgin Mary, redeem us of Putin in Christ the Saviour Cathedral on 21 February, Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Director John Dalhuisen said:
“This trial should never have taken place. The three singers are being tried for making a legitimate protest - this is not a criminal offence. They must be released immediately.
“They dared to attack the two pillars of modern Russian establishment - the Kremlin and the Orthodox Church. While many may have found their act offensive, the sentence of up to seven years in prison they may expect on the charges of hooliganism is wildly out of all proportion.
“In any case, we have serious concerns whether Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova may have a fair trial thanks to the extremely prejudicial atmosphere cooked up in string of statements by politicians and clerics from the top echelons of Russian society.
“These have been widely broadcast by the media shaping public opinion against these three women. The trial is clearly politically motivated.”