The Secret’s out, the punks aren't | Press release me, let me go | 9 Aug 2012 | Amnesty International UK

The Secret’s out, the punks aren't

The first instalment of our Secret Comedy Podcast was the editor’s pick on the Guardian today. Not so secret after all, and you can download it, subscribe to the series and share it  here, to really get the secret out.

It’s a giant pile of fun with rising comedy star Daniel Sloss,  funny man Jimeoin and the musical stylings of the YouTube sensation Adam Kay. After that, the host Susan Calman talks to Lucy Porter about babies and has a bit of ‘Question Time’ with Shappi Khorsandi and Flight of the Conchords’ Rhys Darby. 

But the real stars of the show, aren’t there at all. You'll hear the guests talking about the travesty of justice that is the Pussy Riot trial.

In case you haven’t heard, via Stephen Fry on Twitter say, or just about any broadcast or print news source, Russian punk band Pussy Riot performed a protest song “Virgin Mary, redeem us of Putin” in a Cathedral in Moscow in February, with several group members covering their faces in their trademark highly-coloured balaclavas. The song called on the Virgin Mary to become a feminist and banish Vladimir Putin. It also criticised the support shown to Putin by some representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Russian authorities arrested Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich in March and charged them with hooliganism. They have been held ever since, denied bail and are unable to see their families, including their young children. If convicted next week, the women could face a  term of up to three years in prison. Amnesty has declared them prisoners of conscience.

Amnesty’s presence at the largest arts festival in the world is designed to remind people just how precious the right to speak freely is. The Pussy Riot case exemplifies the difference between countries where free speech is gernerally protected, and Russia, where the women are facing politically-motivated charges for legitimate protest. It’s no coincidence that the Fringe is held in Edinburgh, not Moscow.

Take action for Pussy Riot, here

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