Stephen Fry publishes two-page open letter of support for jailed Pussy Riot members

Putin ‘has made a fool of himself’ says Fry

The actor and comedian Stephen Fry has written a two-page open letter of support to the imprisoned members of the Russian protest band Pussy Riot.

In the letter Fry, who calls himself “an unashamed Russophile”, lambasts Russia for its “monstrous injustice and preposterous tyranny” in the case, calling the Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s two-year prison sentence “astoundingly unfair and disproportionate”.

Fry defends Pussy Riot’s controversial protest in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour cathedral, saying the stunt was performed with “good reason”: “Your argument was not with the religious, or with Christianity, but with Putinist croneyism within the ranks of the Orthodox Church, especially this particular building, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.”

Fry ends his letter saying:

“Putin hasn’t made a monster of himself. He has made a fool of himself. It is often said that had the world laughed at Hitler early enough he would never have taken the hold on power he did. I do not call Putin a Hitler. Yet. But it is time to laugh him out of this stance and you out of incarceration.”

Fry, a longstanding supporter of Amnesty International, wrote the two-page letter in response to Amnesty’s campaign on the case, which currently involves gathering messages of support for the jailed Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights. Since their imprisonment on Friday, the human rights organisation has already received over 5,000 support messages, though Stephen Fry’s is the longest and arguably most notable.

The actor and comedian has a record of supporting free speech and recently lent his support to Paul Chambers in the “Twitter joke trial” concerning Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“The Pussy Riot trial always looked politically-motivated and putting them in jail represents a bitter blow for freedom of expression in Russia.

“We consider the three women's to be prisoners of conscience who should be released immediately.”

Amnesty’s messages of support campaign for the Pussy Riot three - Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova - is at: www.amnesty.org.uk/pussyriot

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