David Cameron urged to pressure Putin over Pussy Riot trial

Amnesty International calls on UK prime minister to 'dispense with the kid gloves' during talks with Russian president in London today

David Cameron urged to pressure Putin over Pussy Riot trial
02 August 2012

Activists are calling on British Prime Minister David Cameron to pressure Russian President Vladamir Putin over the trial of pro-gay punk protesters Pussy Riot during his visit to London today (2 August).

Amnesty International has urged Cameron to ‘dispense with the kid gloves’ in talks with Putin and raise the issue of the Pussy Riot trial and Russia’s increasing intolerance of legitimate dissent.

Three members of the punk band are accused of ‘religious hooliganism’ after singing an anti-Putin protest song which spoke out for gay rights in Moscow’s main Orthodox church.

Amnesty International condemned the trial, which began on Monday (30 July), accusing it of being ‘politically motivated’.

‘David Cameron needs to dispense with the kid gloves today,’ said the human rights group’s Europe and Central Asia director, John Dalhuisen.

He added: ‘During Putin’s time in high office Russia has become increasingly intolerant of legitimate dissent and the Pussy Riot trial is just the latest example of this.

‘By putting a group of women in balaclavas on trial Russia’s own mask has slipped.

‘David Cameron should politely, but firmly, tell it like it is on the Pussy Riot case. The trial is a disgrace and the charges should be dropped immediately.’

Amnesty believes Pussy Riot defendants Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are being prosecuted for what was a legitimate, if potentially offensive, protest action.

Amnesty considers the three women as prisoners of conscience and has launched a text campaign calling on the Russian authorities to drop the charges against the three women and release them immediately.

To text your support for Pussy Riot, click here.

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