Pussy Riot member freed from jail

After a pro-gay, anti-Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral, a member is freed while two others remain behind bars

Pussy Riot member freed from jail
10 October 2012

A member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot is being set free on appeal today (10 October).

However, Moscow City Court confirmed the two year prison sentences for the two other women in the band after their pro-gay, anti-Putin cathedral protest in February.

Katerina Samutsevich’s lawyer said she had not participated in the masked protest because she had been stopped and led away before it took place.

At the appeal hearing, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina told the court their protest was purely political.

‘We did not want to offend believers,’ Alyokhina said. ‘We came to the cathedral to speak out against the merger between spiritual figures and the political elite of our country.’

‘Putin is doing everything for the development of civil war in this country,’ said Tolokonnikova, who had to reportedly raise her voice to drown out the judge to stop her from talking about Putin.

The appeal had to be postponed last week after Samutsevich sacked her legal team and demanded time to hire another lawyer.

The Russian president, who once urged for ‘leniency’ for the women, defended the sentences: ‘It is right that they were arrested and it was right that the court took this decision because you cannot undermine the fundamental morals and values to destroy the country.’

When the three women were arrested, there was an international outcry by other governments and celebrities like Madonna, who called the sentence disproportionate.

Pussy Riot performed the song ‘Virgin Mary redeem us of Putin’, and included a lyric reference to the country’s persecuted LGBT community with the line ‘Gay pride sent to Siberia in chains’.

It was one of a number of performances intended as a protest against Putin in the run-up to Russia’s presidential elections in March.

The song outraged the Orthodox Church in Russia, which accused Pussy Riot of blasphemy and asked for severe judgment.

Human rights groups have condemned the trial, with Amnesty International accusing it of being ‘politically motivated’.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Gay adults have better self-esteem if they came out at school

'Kids need supportive environments so they can figure out and be as true to themselves as they can be'
No thumbnail available

Principle 6 gay rights campaign sponsors Australia’s Sochi bobsled team

The Principle 6 campaign, aimed at highlighting that Russia’s homophobic laws are incompatible with Olympic values, is sponsoring Australia’s bobsled team at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and their sleds will bear its logo on their noses
No thumbnail available

Australian Christian candidate says he will push for marriage equality if elected

A Christian Australian Labor Party candidate says allowing same-sex couples to marry would be one of his priorities if elected later this year
No thumbnail available

Steve Grand weighs in on 'sad' case of another singer not as proud of being gay

Once openly gay Josey Greenwell has rebranded himself as country singer Nate Green
No thumbnail available

Foxes, DJ Wayne G joins star-studded Brighton Pride line-up

Other performers include Fatboy Slim, Jess Glynne and Hercules & Love Affair
No thumbnail available

Oxford Uni rewrites ancient dress code for trans students

Students will now be allowed to wear the ceremonial dress code of either gender to exams breaking a centuries old tradition
No thumbnail available

New snail species named in honor of slow and steady march to equality for gay people

Who needs a rainbow unicorn or a pussycat when you've got the snail?
Gay son kicked out by religious parents receives incredible amount to start his new life

Gay son kicked out by religious parents receives incredible amount to start his new life

Prepare to have your faith in humanity renewed as generous, loving people rally around a 20-year-old who thought he lost everything
No thumbnail available

You have to see this epic campaign turning the tables on homophobes

Youth support organization minus18's campaign gives homophobes a taste of their own medicine
No thumbnail available

Russia pin-up wants anti-gay law to ban promoting straight sex too

Former opera singer and model turned MP failed in her bid to amend the homophobic law