Russia: Jailed members of anarcha-revolutionary band, “Pussy Riot” on hunger strike

From Common Dreams:

Three members of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk-rock band, began a hunger strike Wednesday after a Moscow court suddenly told them they must prepare their defense for trial by Monday.

Maria Alyokhina, Yakaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were taken into custody in March, after the group’s February performance of “Virgin Mary Put Putin Away,” an anti-Putin song, inside the Russian Orthodox Church’s main cathedral, asking the Virgin Mary to chase President Vladimir Putin out of power.

The three women were arrested over four months ago and have been held without bail on charges of criminal hooliganism — which carry a possible seven-year prison sentence. Two other female members of the band have avoided arrest thus far.

“I announce a hunger strike because it is unlawful,” said Tolokonnikova, wearing a T-shirt with the famous slogan of the Spanish Civil War, “No pasaran!” (“They shall not pass”), emblazoned across it.

“Until July 9 is not enough (time) for me. I think it is absolutely unlawful,” she said in the Tagansky district court.

“I am categorically against it and I announce a hunger strike,” Alekhina also said after the court delivered a separate ruling on her and another one on Samutsevich.

As the case generates media attention, activists all over the world are advocating for Pussy Riot’s release. Over 100 Russian cultural figures, including some known for pro-government views, have signed a letter calling for the release of the trio. “We see no legal basis or practical reason for the further isolation of these young women, who do not pose any real danger to society,” the letter said.

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One Response

  1. Reblogged this on NonviolentConflict.

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