17094Pussy Riot have done their time, could be released – Medvedev (updated)
- Nov 3, 2012http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=10064
02 November 2012, 15:26
Pussy Riot have done their time, could be released – Medvedev (updated)
Moscow, November 2, Interfax - Pussy Riot singers have done their time
and could be freed, said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
"I resent these characters - the way they look and what they do. The
impression they made on me was so negative and I feel so negative about
them that I hardly want to talk about them," he told the winners of
international competitions of scientific projects, when asked whether
the Pussy Riot singers would be freed ahead of time.
"But if I were the judge I would not have jailed them, just because I
don't think it is correct to send them to prison. They have spent a long
time behind bars already. Enough," he said.
But Medvedev remarked that this prospect is within the court's
competence. "This question shouldn't be addressed to me. It should go to
our courts, and to the Pussy Riot singers' defense lawyers. They have
the right to prepare the relevant requests, which I think they will do,
and the court, in turn, has the right to hear the issue and decide,"
He also said that he does not think Pussy Riot are musicians. "I have
doubts that the group that has become a celebrity not only in Russia,
but also abroad, has anything to do with music. They have not a single
song on their record that would get on the hit lists," Medvedev said.
Masked Pussy Riot punk group singers staged what they called "an
anti-Putin punk prayer" at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on
February 21, 2012. The singers' escapade became a matter of controversy
both in Russia and abroad.
Three Pussy Riot members, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and
Yekaterina Samutsevich, were detained and tried for disorderly conduct.
They claimed innocence and insisted that their action was political
rather than anti-religious. However, Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court found
them guilty and sentenced them to two years in a penal colony on August
17, 2012. Their lawyers filed appeals against the sentence on August 27.
On October 10, the Moscow City Court suspended Samutsevich's sentence
and upheld Tolokonnikova's and Alyokhina's convictions.
Defense lawyer Violetta Volkova said on October 24 that Alyokhina had
been sent to a penitentiary in the Perm Territory and Tolokonnikova to