Artist News Legal

Pussy Riot: “We are not guilty – the whole world is talking about it”

By | Published on Thursday 9 August 2012

Pussy Riot

Members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot yesterday spoke in court in Moscow, where they face charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility”, to give their closing statements.

As previously reported, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested earlier this year after the ten strong band performed a “punk prayer” against president Vladimir Putin on the altar of the Cathedral Of Christ The Saviour Of The Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Earlier this week, federal prosecutor Alexei Nikiforov told the court that the women had “violated the traditions of our country”. However, in their closing statements the women denied this, and accused Nikiforov and his team of being bound by the government not to speak their minds.

The Guardian reports that Tolokonnikova said: “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 honour and dignity. If this political system throws itself against three girls … it shows this political system is afraid of truth. Even though we are behind bars, we are freer than those people [the prosecution]. We can say what we want, while they can only say what political censorship allows. Maybe they really think it’s wrong to try us for speaking against Putin and his system, but they can’t say that because it’s been forbidden”.

Alyokhina added: “We are not guilty – the whole world is talking about it. I am not scared of you. I’m not scared of lies and fiction, or the badly formed deception that is the verdict of this so-called court. Because my words will live, thanks to openness. When thousands of people will read and watch this, this freedom will grow with every caring person who listens to us in this country”.

The case gained further scrutiny this week, both at home and abroad, when Madonna spoke out about the trial at a show in Moscow on Tuesday. According to Reuters, she told the audience: “I know there are many sides to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government, but I think that these three girls – Masha, Katya, Nadya – I think that they have done something courageous. I pray for their freedom”.

It is still expected that the women will be given a three year jail sentence, as requested by the prosecution earlier this week, but the judge in the case has decided to delay her decision, which has renewed hope that they may be freed.



READ MORE ABOUT:

GET CMU NEWS BY EMAIL DAILY FIND OUT ABOUT UPCOMING CMU EVENTS