Garry Kasparov Faces Jail Over Pussy Riot Protest (Video)

Among those arrested for protesting the trial and prison sentences of three feminist punk band Pussy Riot members was democracy activist and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. He was among up to 100 people detained by police near Moscow’s Khamovnichesky Court on Friday, says the Telegraph.

As the video below shows, Kasparov was speaking to reporters when he was seized by police, assaulted and pulled into a police van while asking repeatedly “What are you doing? What are you detaining me for?”

The police are planning to charge Kasparov for assault, for (they say) biting a police officer on the hand (that officer is indicated by the red circle in the video). As this would be a charge of violence against a state official, Kasparov could receive a prison sentence of up to five years.

A photograph taken through a window of the van shows Kasparov “grimacing” as an “officer presses his hand on his neck.” He was choked and struck by police officers and then taken to a police station for several hours. More details from the Telegraph:

Pro-Kremlin media later showed Denis Ratnikov, 29, a police officer, holding up a bandaged left hand splashed with green disinfectant and claiming that Mr Kasparov had bitten him as he tried to scramble out of the bus.

But the activist, who is a co-founder of the Solidarity opposition group, said after his release late on Friday: “I want to see this officer. The suggestion that I bit him is total drivel. I tried to get free, of course, but my teeth were firmly gritted. Maybe it was a police dog that bit him?”

Police said in response they were ready to “carry out a test comparing a police dog’s bite to Kasparov’s teeth” in order to prove the alleged assault.

Kasparov has been ordered to report to the police in the upcoming week.

In a statement on the Wall Street Journal, Kasparov proclaims Pussy Riot members Maria AlyokhinaYekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to be Russia’s “first true political prisoners.”

Kasparov also makes it clear, Putin could care less for what the Western press or celebrities say and calls on the Obama administration to take real action about the suppression of  free speech in Russia:

If officials at the U.S. State Department are as “seriously concerned” about free speech in Russia as they say, I suggest they drop their opposition to the Magnitsky Act pending in the Senate. That legislation would bring financial and travel sanctions against the functionaries who enact the Kremlin’s agenda of repression. Mouthing concern only reinforces the fact that no action will be taken.

Mr. Putin could not care less about winning public-relations battles in the Western press, or about fighting them at all. He and his cronies care only about money and power. Today’s events make it clear that they will fight for those things until Russia’s jails are full.

Indeed, Kasparov writes that a former CEO of Deutsche Bank, Josef Ackermann, may be put in charge of managing the billion-plus-dollar Russian sovereign wealth fund. “As long as bankers and other Western elites eagerly line up to do Mr. Putin’s bidding, the situation in Russia will only get worse,” says Kasparov. The US and other Western powers have said Pussy Riot’s sentence is “disproportionate” as if to say that the length of their sentence “were the only problem with open repression of political speech.” The problem that the West needs to speak out against is that free speech is no crime.

After his arrest on Friday, Kasparov wrote that “this is a long battle.” He is only too right.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

New Protests Rage After Pussy Riot Guilty Verdict (Video)

Pussy Riot Sentenced To Two Years in Prison Colony

We Are All Pussy Riot! (Video)

 

 

Photo from a video uploaded by Garry Kasparov via YouTube

55 comments

ali a.
ali a.3 years ago

Keep going,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Look this up and petition and tell all your friends.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/justiceforaa/

For watching enactment video(8min) go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeR-lmU44sY

Alexandra Rodda
Alexandra Rodda3 years ago

Good on Kasparov. Tyranny's foundation is the apathy and fear of the population. It is only the brave souls that keep the fire of freedom burning in people's hearts. Whatever happens to him, this makes him a great man even more than his chess prowess.

 .
.3 years ago

The police everywhere are the enemies of the people . When are you going to get that through your thick skulls !

Ness Watson
vanessa W.3 years ago

Putin blatantly lied to our government when asked about it, said he wanted things to go lightly for the girls and so they weren't necessarily jailed, 'they shouldn't be judged too harshly' . Meanwhile he is being the puppet master behind the scenes and controlling not only the press but the church.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev expressed his opinion one day before the verdict was announced in a media interview. “I firmly stand on my position that the whole process was an absolutely unnecessary initiative,” he said. “This is not a case that should go to court. It could be instead considered by such an authoritative body as the Public Chamber.”
Could it be that Gorby was/is the lesser of two evils?

Marianna B Molnar

noted

Marianna B Molnar

noted

devon leonard
Devon Leonard3 years ago

Free speech is no crime.............. Cruelty, sadism, indifference, repression...these are things that we easily could say are criminal.
Free speech is no crime.
Control freaks just don't get it that there's nothing more constant than change...and that we cannot control anything except our own self...
The voice of the people will never be silenced !

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Bernd Friedel-Onasch

Many politicians are underclass people with a huge inferiority complex and the only way they know to calm this one down, is by oppressing others.

The sad thing is people praise and idolize them.

The only politician I know of, who did not suffer this illness was Mahatma Gahndy.

Blake W.
Blake W.3 years ago

Best option: send in a SEAL team for Mr. Putin. Those who oppress others are enemies of humanity and should be treated as such.