Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been jailed for two years after staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral.
Judge Marina Syrova convicted the women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, saying they had “crudely undermined social order”.
The women say the protest, in February, was directed at the Russian Orthodox Church leader’s support for Mr Putin.
Judge Syrova said Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, had offended the feelings of Orthodox believers and shown a “complete lack of respect”.
“Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Samutsevich committed hooliganism – in other words, a grave violation of public order,” she said.
What was this horrific act of hooliganism?
Along with other members of their band, the women staged a flashmob-style performance of their song close to the altar in the cathedral on 21 February.
Their brief, obscenity-laced performance, which implored the Virgin Mary to “throw Putin out”, enraged the Orthodox Church – its leader Patriarch Kirill said it amounted to blasphemy.
Yep. Two years in jail because you dared to swear, mention some religious figures, and speak about a theoretically democratic election. I know the US is fucked up, but at least I don’t get thrown in prison when I say FUCK THE CHURCH.
Hopefully something positive happens with their appeal, and hopefully even more international pressure is put on Russia. Not that I’m expecting much coming from the US. Can you imagine Obama having to defend a blasphemous band called Pussy Riot during an election season?