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Judgment Day for ‘Pussy Riot’

Posted By Michael Volpe On August 14, 2012 @ 12:22 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 15 Comments

To read the profound and moving translated closing statements of the three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, click here.

With closing statements complete, all that’s left is the verdict in the trial of the all-female Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot, which has captivated the world and again put Vladimir Putin’s tyrannical machinery on full display for the whole world to see.

The three women — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23; Ekaterina Samutsevich, 29; and Maria Alyokhina, 24 — are accused of donning ski masks and performing a concert that mocked the Orthodox church, religion, and Vladimir Putin from inside the confines of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, a crime in Putin’s Russia. The story gained world-wide attention when the prosecutors sin the case stated their intention to seek three years in prison for each of the accused.

The trial wrapped up last week and the verdict is due later this week. Each of the three defendants took the stand in their own defense as part of the defense’s closing argument. They often gave impassioned speeches. One band member referred to the world-wide attention in her own closing arguments. “The whole world is saying that we are not guilty. They talk about it at concerts, on the internet, in the press and in parliament. The whole world is saying ‘they’re not guilty!’” said Ekaterina Samutsevich.

At other times, the proceedings took on a “Braveheart” like quality, with the ladies believing their trial served as a larger referendum on freedom and liberty in Russia.

“This is a trial of the whole government system of Russia, which so likes to show its harshness toward the individual, its indifference to his honor and dignity,” said Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in an impassioned statement. “If this political system throws itself against three girls, it shows this political system is afraid of truth.”

Celebrity singers from all around the world have spoken out against this case and in solidarity with the three Russian singers. Last month, Sting issued this statement:

It’s appalling that the musicians from Pussy Riot could face prison sentences of up to seven years in jail. Dissent is a legitimate and essential right in any democracy and modern politicians must accept this fact with tolerance. A sense of proportion – and a sense of humor – is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Surely the Russian authorities will completely drop these spurious charges and allow the women, these artists, to get back to their lives and to their children.

Madonna referenced the case during a concert in Moscow late last month. During a performance, she wore a punk rock outfit, turned around, and revealed the words, “Pussy Riots” on her back. She then told the crowd, “I pray for their freedom.”

The court is in an unusual pause. Rather than issuing the ruling immediately, the judge in the case decided to wait until Friday August 13 at 3PM Moscow time to issue the ruling.

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