Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Moscow court frees 1 of 3 Pussy Riot members


< Previous Page


The Russian Orthodox Church had said the appeals court should show leniency if the three women repented. But the defendants said Wednesday that they could not repent because they harbored no religious hatred and had committed no crime. Their protest, they said, was against Putin and the church hierarchy for openly supporting his rule.

Patriarch Kirill has expressed strong support for Putin, praising his leadership as "God’s miracle." He described the punk performance as part of an assault by "enemy forces" on the church.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The judge repeatedly interrupted the defendants when their statements turned to politics, but they persisted in speaking their minds.

"We will not be silent. And even if we are in Mordovia or Siberia (regions where prisoners in Russia are often sent to serve out their terms) we won’t be silent," Alekhina said.

Defense attorney Nikolai Polozov said the two women would receive copies of their sentences within two weeks and then transported to a penal colony; the location was as yet unknown. Once convicted, all Russian prisoners serve time in penal colonies.

A lawyer representing cathedral staff, Alexei Taratukhin, urged the court to uphold the verdict because the women’s actions "had nothing to do with politics, democracy or freedom."

Five members of Pussy Riot entered the vast and nearly empty Christ the Savior Cathedral on Feb. 21. After Samutsevich and her guitar were bundled out, only four of them were left to dance on the pulpit and shout out the words to their song before they too were ousted by security guards.

The band members were wearing their trademark balaclavas, which may have made it more difficult for police to identify them. The three women were arrested in March, and the group said the two others have since fled the country.

Pussy Riot later produced a video that included footage of a previous performance in a smaller church and had a dubbed soundtrack. This video, which became an Internet hit, was what most angered Russian Orthodox believers.

Tolokonnikova appealed to Russians for understanding:


story continues below
story continues below

"I don’t consider myself guilty. But again I ask all those who are listening to me for the last time: I don’t want people to be angry at me: Yes, I’m going to prison, but I don’t want anyone to think that there is any hatred in me."

The court refused the defense lawyers’ request to take into consideration that Tolokonnikova and Alekhina both have a young child.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.