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Russian Police Hunting Other Pussy Riot Members

Russian Police Hunting Other Pussy Riot Members

Pussy Riot members Maria AlyokhinaYekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were convicted last week of charges of “hooliganism” motivated by religious hatred and have been sentenced to two years in a prison colony. Russian police are on the hunt for the other members of the feminist punk band over the “punk prayer” staged in February at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

Police have not yet identified the suspects nor how many people they are looking for, says Reuters. Mark Feigin, a lawyer for Pussy Riot, says that he thinks the police know who the other two women who were at the “punk prayer” are and that they have video surveillance of them walking into the church:

He said the search handed police a tool to put pressure on any of Pussy Riot’s 10 plus members continuing its protest. “If you put some unidentified persons on the wanted list, then you can arrest whoever you want in a balaclava,” he said.

International outrage about what was in essence a “show trial” of the three women has been widespread. But the police’s intent to track down the other members of Pussy Riot shows that the Kremlin has no plans to cease from its scrutiny of the band and its suppression of freedom of speech and expression. Speaking in Helsinki on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov chided Western media and powers for overreacting, saying that Alyokhina, Samutsevich and Tolokonnikova could still appeal and “Let’s not draw any rash conclusions and go off into hysterics.”

But while meeting with western journalists last week, seven other Pussy Riot members insisted that they are only more determined to continue to protest.

According to the BBC, Alyokhina, Samutsevich and Tolokonnikova said that they do not know the names of the other band members, as they maintained a policy of anonymity and used nicknames for each other.

British actor and comedian Stephen Fry has published a two-page open letter of support for Pussy Riot on Amnesty International’s website. He joins celebrities including Madonna and Paul McCartney who have called for the women’s release. Russian officials have dismissed such support. Calling himself an “unashamed Russophile,” Fry writes:

I know how much [Russian President Vladimir Putin] and his followers hate being “lectured” by western liberals, but the fact is I find it impossible to be silent in the face of such monstrous injustice and preposterous tyranny. And that’s the point. Putin hasn’t made a monster of himself. He has made a fool of himself. It is often said that had the world laughed at Hitler early enough he would never have taken the hold on power he did. I do not call Putin a Hitler. Yet. But it is time to laugh him out of this stance and you out of incarceration.

Alyokhina, Samutsevich and Tolokonnikova all smiled and laughed at their sentencing. In the face of tyranny, showing that you know how ridiculous it is could be the most powerful protest of all.

Related Care2 Coverage

Balaclava-Wearing Protesters Arrested in France

Garry Kasparov Faces Jail Over Pussy Riot Protest (Video)

New Protests Rage After Pussy Riot Guilty Verdict (Video)

 

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50 comments

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1:25PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Outrage is outrage even in the USA we may be the next step !!

5:56AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

So nice to read that the russian police is doing SO important work. Why not colloborate with Interpol, CIA and other too?

3:00AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Putin seems to be a man mad with fear and rage..... and the power to punish at will. Power is not a bad thing.....it is the abuse of power that is man's downfall. So many beautiful people have died from the slavery imposed upon them for simply speaking their mind. History is filled with examples. Artists and free thinkers have had their life ended for what you and I might take for granted.. It's vital that we preserve freedom of speech...or we may lose it.

12:49AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Enough is enough. хорошенького понемножку!

7:47PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

These silly women should be glad they're in Russia. With all its faults, at least the Russian politicians don't consider rape a legitimate action, don't claim that women can't get pregnant from rape, or claim that incest or statutory rape can't result in a pregnancy. These Russian women should be glad they're not in the backward and medieval US..

7:47PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

These silly women should be glad they're in Russia. With all its faults, at least the Russian politicians don't consider rape a legitimate action, don't claim that women can't get pregnant from rape, or claim that incest or statutory rape can't result in a pregnancy. These Russian women should be glad they're not in the backward and medieval US..

7:18PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

good luck

5:59PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

awful

3:08PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

First we must congratulate the pure impact these girls have had focussing world attention on the shortcomings of Vladimir Putin and his self-perpetuating antidemocracy. Brilliant!

2:18PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

I agree with their lawyer. It's a 17th century witch hunt and Putin is a 17th century oligarch. He's brain was washed out by KGB long time ago. He doesn't give a penny for human rights.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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