1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://punkmusic.about.com/od/punkinthenews/a/Pussy-Riot-Goes-Internationa.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Pussy Riot Goes International

The band takes the show to Prague while members must remain in jail

By

Pussy Riot Goes International

Pussy Riot

Some of the non incarcerated members of Pussy Riot took their cause to the Czech Republic yesterday, staging a performance in Prague against the detainment of their three bandmates who are currently awaiting trial.

The remaining members of Pussy Riot staged a protest from the balcony of an office building, where they dropped banners, lip synced several of their songs and threw out flyers asking for help from the world in gaining support to pressure the Russian government for the release of the imprisoned band members.

It's an attempt to increase awareness of a situation in Russia that's much bigger than the imprisonment of three Russian punk musicians.

Meanwhile, the Russian courts today made the decision that the three members of Pussy Riot must remain in jail while they await trial, despite their lawyers' plea that they be released on bail.

The argument made on the part of the prosecution for keeping Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich doesn't even make sense. The prosecutors have argued that releasing the three would allow them to destroy evidence, but the band currently faces charges of hooliganism based on their protest performance in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral on February 21. The primary evidence of this event is video of the protest, unedited versions of which (which the imprisoned punks' lawyers claim show that the band did not actually perform in the church, and that edited tapes have made it look like a much more serious incident than it was) have already been released to the courts as evidence.

If convicted on the charges, the three face up to seven years in prison.

It just continues to be one more politically repressive move on the part of the Russian government to make an example of the women, and to suppress any other voices with dissenting opinion.

Last week, the Russian Parliament passed a set of laws that enforce fines upon any Russian citizen who stage protests. By creating monetary penalties, the government is seeking to silence any opinions that may differ from those of tne governing body.

Worldwide, the prisoners are getting noticed. Czech Foreign Affairs Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has issued a statement of support for the band, hoping that "Russia will gain its dignity and freedom." Meanwhile, a href="http://punkmusic.about.com/b/2012/04/18/free-pussy-riot-how-you-can-get-involved-to-help-the-russian-punks.htm">an online group has been formed urging members of the worldwide scene to get involved in demanding the freedom of the three women, and Amnesty International has declared them prisoners of conscience.

As the Russian government continues to seek new and more severe ways to silence any form of political protest, the three members of Pussy Riot sit in cells to serve as examples, both to Russian citizens as to how the government views the rights to political speech of its people, and to the world as to the value of expression under the current repressive regime. It's up to the world now to continue to work to make sure these women don't languish in detention, and to let the people of Russia know that, even if their government refuses to hear their voice, we are aware of the situation, and the people of Russia, as well as the members of Pussy Riot, are part of our awareness and active in their thoughts.

Punks - and people in general - should not be silenced. Anywhere. Not in Indonesia. Not in Burma. Not in Baghdad. And not in Russia.

More:

Who is Pussy Riot? Find out more about the group and download free music.

Free Pussy Riot: Get Involved

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.