Pussy Riot stay behind bars : Russian punk protest group remain in jail

[caption id="attachment_25501" align="alignright" width="150"]free Pussy Riot free Pussy Riot [/caption]Russian Riot Grrrl/punk band Pussy Riot are to remain behind bars after a Moscow city court rejected an appeal for the release from custody of three women from the group who face up to seven years in jail over an anti-Putin protest.

The band who stormed a church in Moscow were detained in March after five masked members performed a song in Moscow's largest cathedral against what they said was church support for Vladimir Putin's presidential election campaign. They have been behind bars ever since.

The song, entitled “Holy S**t,” featured the lyrics “Virgin Mary, drive Putin out!” and came amid unprecedented protests against the twelve-year rule of the former KGB officer. The suspects admit being part of the Pussy Riot group, but say they did not take part in the protest in the landmark Christ the Savior cathedral. Putin called the protest “unpleasant.”
The group members have been charged with hooliganism as part of an organized group. The trial is expected to begin later this month.

In the UK Parliament MP Kerry Mccarthy for response to a written question on the issue.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to Russia on the jailing of members of the punk band Pussy Riot.

Mr Lidington, the Minister of Europe replied: 'We are extremely concerned about the continued detention of three members of the band Pussy Riot, who have been held in pre-trial detention for almost four months. The severity of the Russian authorities' response””detention on the serious criminal charge of hooliganism””appears to be disproportionate to the manner in which they expressed their political beliefs. Amnesty International has classified the members of Pussy Riot as “Prisoners of Conscience”.

The Government has repeatedly expressed its serious concern to the Russian Government over attempts to limit freedom of assembly. We will continue to call on the Russian Government to protect the right to legitimate protest and will raise this case at our UK-Russia Bilateral Human Rights Dialogue on 13 July.

All three women were detained in March after five masked members of Pussy Riot performed a song in Moscow's largest cathedral against what they said was church support for Vladimir Putin's presidential election campaign. They have been behind bars ever since.

The song, entitled “Holy S**t,” featured the lyrics “Virgin Mary, drive Putin out!” and came amid unprecedented protests against the twelve-year rule of the former KGB officer. The suspects admit being part of the Pussy Riot group, but say they did not take part in the protest in the landmark Christ the Savior cathedral. Putin called the protest “unpleasant.”
The group members have been charged with hooliganism as part of an organized group. The trial is expected to begin later this month.

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