At the doors of the Russian Embassy with Pussy Riot

‘No matter what happens on the 17th – we already won really’

Outrage at the treatment of Pussy Riot has galvanised into a global movement for their freedom. Here in the UK alone over 12,000 of you have taken action. Your texts have been coming into our SMS action network so thick and fast that the Russian authorities have turned off their fax machines (yes, we still fax things like this - sending several faxes a day with yet more names of people all asking for the same thing definitely makes a impact).

With the fax machines turned off we felt it was time for the personal touch. This morning we've been outside the Russian Embassy in balaclavas and brightly coloured tights, wielding our Free Pussy Riot placards. Directly after this colourful protest, our campaigner Ruth handed in our petition and made sure the serious message was passed on - that over 12,000 of you believe Pussy Riot members Nadezhda, Maria and Ekaterina are prisoners of conscience and that the charges against them are politically motivated.

And that the names represent just part of over 115,000 people across the world who have signed Amnesty petitions calling for all charges to be dropped against the punk protesters.

Whilst we wait for their sentence, we've closed our text action.

Viral support

The Pussy Riot campaign has gone truly viral. The UK petition alone has seen over 3,000 tweets more than 11,000 likes on Facebook - and that doesn't even take into account all the noise generated by Madonna, Sting, Rage Against the Machine and countless others publicly expressing their concern.

Most importantly, the case is becoming a milestone in Russia itself. Our campaigner in the Moscow office, Maria Sereda, says she has no doubt this is the most broad and heated civic discussion Russia has seen in the past 10-15 years. As she wrote to us last week:

“I  went out for lunch yesterday in Moscow and two students at the table next to me were discussing Pussy Riot, both were hoping the girls will not get a prison term.

“There is hardly anyone who hasn’t heard about it (mainly due to so many public figures mentioning it), and the diversity of opinions is huge. This case really made my country think and talk about religion and state, freedom of expression, tolerance, law enforcement and the right to a fair trial.“

Maria also asked us to pass on her message to everyone who has taken action for Pussy Riot:

“If you watched the videos of the girls speaking on the last day of the court hearing, you could see how brave and how strong they are. This is also because they can feel all the support behind them.

“So, no matter what happens on the 17th, we won already really."

Closing statements

I hope Maria is right when it comes to highlighting repression in Russia, but the freedom of these three young women still hangs in the balance. We'll find out their fate at around noon tomorrow. Beforehand we'll be with the Royal Court Theatre in London where they've planned rehearsed readings of the final testimony of Nadezhda, Maria and Ekaterina.

To find out the verdict, our response, and how to continue to help, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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3 comments

What the band did was a crime and not protected speech under the ICCPR, what basis is there for Amnesty to call for the charges to be dropped?

Gregory Carlin 6 years ago

By International Human Rights Law' Pussy Riot',committed no crime.-Be strong in this young women and be not afraid ;you are not alone. All love to you.

Josephine Crawford 6 years ago

Joesephine, what international law are you forgetting to cite? What Pussy Riot did is universally a crime in the European Union. It also violates Article 18 of the UDHR, the right to go to church without hindrance or organized nuisance. Amnesty's campaign on protected speech is without the slightest merit, it is a fraud. The courts decide protected speech, and no court (anywhere!) has ever decided Pussy Riot's kind of behavior was legal or legitimate. It is a fraudulent campaign. What Pussy Riot did was hate crime. Their friends in Kiev who targeted the same cathedral in December 2011, are even more loathsome, they wanted the Patriarch to be killed. They (FEMEN) also in the last few days desecrated a memorial to the victims of Soviet era repression. It is all terribly ugly.

Gregory Carlin 6 years ago