START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
924,418 people care about Women's Rights

2 Pussy Riot Members Flee; “Victims” Sue Band For “Psychological Distress”

2 Pussy Riot Members Flee; “Victims” Sue Band For “Psychological Distress”

The Russian police have been hunting for other members of Pussy Riot, the feminist punk band three of whose members have been sentenced to two years in a prison colony after being convicted on charges of “hooliganism” motivated by religious hatred.  The BBC reports that, according to the band’s Twitter account, two members of the feminist collective have fled Russia:

“In regard to the pursuit, two of our members have successfully fled the country! They are recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new actions!”

Along with jailed Pussy Riot members Maria AlyokhinaYekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the two women who have fled Russia were among those who participated in a “punk prayer” at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral in February.

As Tolokonnikova’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov, said to Reuters:

“Since the Moscow police said they are searching for them, they will keep a low profile for now. They are in a safe place beyond the reach of the Russian police,” he said by phone.

Asked if that meant a country which had no extradition agreement with Russia, Verzilov said: “Yes, that suggests that.”

“But you must remember that 12 or even 14 members who are still in Russia actively participate in the band’s work now, it’s a big collective,” he added.

Russian police had not given any names for the women they were seeking or how many band members they are hunting for.

Pussy Riot Sued By “Victims”

Three Ukrainian women are suing Pussy Riot on the grounds that, after viewing the video clip of the February “punk prayer” in the Moscow cathedral, they have been suffering from psychological distress. As the Independent reports, a “wave of civil cases” that are (lawyers say) “inspired by the gospel” is being filed against Pussy Riot:

“We are talking about moral suffering which causes physical pain,” claimed the lawyer Alexei Krestyanov, who is representing Irina Ruzankina and two other women who say they saw the clip on the internet and were harmed by it. “She suffered because this punk group performed their punk prayer in a place where they should not have, in a place where she worships and that she considers sacred.”

Ms Ruzankina is asking for 30,000 roubles (£600) compensation, and Mr Krestyanov said that he plans to launch 12 lawsuits against the band, to represent the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ.

Terming such lawsuits “idiotic,” Pussy Riot’s lawyers say that are unlikely to succeed.

The Independent points out that a good part of the prosecution’s case against Pussy Riot was based on the testimony of church security and worshippers who said they were “victims.” According to these “victims,” “seeing the bright outfits and unorthodox dance moves of the women” so “shocked” them that they now suffer health problems or left them so “distraught” that they have been “unable to count their change properly when making purchases.”

However, the evidence given by one such “victim” was thrown out in the court when it emerged that he had (as have thousands) watched the “punk prayer” on YouTube and not actually been at the cathedral.

On Friday, democracy activist and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who was arrested at a protest of Pussy Riot’s trial on August 17, was acquitted of participating in an unsanctioned protest. He still faces a possible jail sentence of five years on (patently ridiculous, if you watch videos of Kasparov’s arrest) charges that he  bit a police officer.

International criticism of the verdict has been widespread and the opposition in Russia has characterized the three women’s sentence as a sign of President Vladimir Putin’s increasingly harsh crackdown on dissent. Defense lawyers for Alyokhina, Samutsevich and Tolokonnikova say they are planning to file an appeal on their behalf this week; according to lawyer Nikolai Polozov, they are not planning to ask Putin for a pardon.

Related Care2 Coverage

Is Pussy Riot Just Another Blip on Russia’s Radar?

German Pussy Riot Supporters Face Criminal Charges (Video)

Russian Police Hunting Other Pussy Riot Members

Read more: , , , , , , , , ,

Photo by Stuart Grout

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

83 comments

+ add your own
4:41PM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

There are a bunch of right wing media persons and politicians that I would love to sue for causing me moral pain.

The Russian government is just being stupid right now. Are they trying to distress people into turning on them?

11:22AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

It's been Klown Kops in Russia since the Czars. The more oppressive right wing governments try to ban things, stifle opposition and squelch free speech the more people slip through the gaps. Eventually, they rise and demand freedom.

Sadly the only freedom some enjoy is persecution.

12:43AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

Rafael Z, the main difference between Julian Assange (sp?) and Pussy Riot is that Assange faces rape (or as Akin would call it, "legitimate rape") charges as well as espionage charges. Assange has agreed to face the rape allegations providing he's not extradited to the US for the espionage charges. The Brits said they could promise no such thing. As for Pussy Riot, what they did might be considered to be in poor taste (not by myself, but by those of a far more conservative nature than my own), but that is about all. Russian prisons are still notorious for their "accommodations." (Lacking better translation.) And serving 2 years in a forced labor prison for simply protesting the government, regardless of the fact that Pussy Riot fully acknowledges that it never entered their mind that there would be a problem given the general public reaction to their prior performances. The thing that's hurting Assange in the court of public opinion is the rape charges that he has yet to answer to. Yes, the espionage charges carry far stiffer penalties, like death, and that's why he's hiding. The media has portrayed him as hiding from the rape allegations, even though he's willing to fight those. The main difference is the difference in the crimes versus the punishments being doled out.

12:43AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

Rafael Z, the main difference between Julian Assange (sp?) and Pussy Riot is that Assange faces rape (or as Akin would call it, "legitimate rape") charges as well as espionage charges. Assange has agreed to face the rape allegations providing he's not extradited to the US for the espionage charges. The Brits said they could promise no such thing. As for Pussy Riot, what they did might be considered to be in poor taste (not by myself, but by those of a far more conservative nature than my own), but that is about all. Russian prisons are still notorious for their "accommodations." (Lacking better translation.) And serving 2 years in a forced labor prison for simply protesting the government, regardless of the fact that Pussy Riot fully acknowledges that it never entered their mind that there would be a problem given the general public reaction to their prior performances. The thing that's hurting Assange in the court of public opinion is the rape charges that he has yet to answer to. Yes, the espionage charges carry far stiffer penalties, like death, and that's why he's hiding. The media has portrayed him as hiding from the rape allegations, even though he's willing to fight those. The main difference is the difference in the crimes versus the punishments being doled out.

12:10PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

If for example, a Mexican Punk Group called Crazy Vagina had done the same thing at the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico city, the police would have to interviene to PROTECT the girls from being hanged by the neck from the bell towers by the religious believers in attendance.

Those who support Pussy Riot have lost perspective.

12:01PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Notwithstanding I support the free expression of all ideas, I have come to see this debate as a vestige of a Cold War mentality.

Pussy Riot has been singing their Putin criticism in Red Square, on top of a Prison's building, and other public venues with no arrests from the police.

It is when the Orthodox priest of the Cathedral expressed his support for Prime Minister Putin, that the girls of Pussy Riot decided to make plans to desecrate the Cathedral, jumping and screaming an anti-Putin song without consent from the church or the religious members present at the cathedral.

I am at a loss at the noise and political repercussions from the EU and the International Mainstream press, with even Amnesty International jumping on the band wagon to attack the Russian government for what they call a suppression on free speech.

AT THE SAME TIME WE HAVE A TRUE HERO OF FREE SPEECH in Julian Assange of Wikileaks, fighting for his freedom in more than 2 years of House Arrest, continuing inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, with hardly any coverage from the same Pussy Riot supporters.

What Pussy Riot did is a crime that has to be punished, and 2 years is adequate for their transgression and as a message to others contemplating doing the same thing.

If for example, a Mexican Punk Group called Crazy Vagina had done the same thing at the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico city, the police would have to interviene to PROTECT the girls from being hanged by the neck from the be

10:59AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

They're just greedy not injured!!!

10:57AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Wow!

9:08AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Oh come on Russian Orthodox church members, you ought to know the state your country is in you could have gotten militants with guns to bust in during services instead of electric guitars to call for "revolution"! Rock musicians who've basically done the same thing in other European countries have only gotten fined for interrupting services, and nobody sues for "mental distress" for such a thing.

11:59PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

This convition brings Russian lega system into disrepute. It appears as if it is now merely an arm of a new dictator, Putin, who is emulating Stalin and doing Russia no good at all.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.