Pussy Riot – the End is Coming

The MYPLACE research team at HSE St Petersburg in Russia send this blog on the latest developments following “Pussy Riot’s” imprisonment for their punk protest. This was originally posted on the MYPLACE blog and you can also follow the project on TwitterFor more information about MYPLACE, visit the project’s website: HERE

The headline-making case of 2012 is going to the end. The lawyers of the three  young women accused were convinced that the trial would begin soon and they were not mistaken, basically – a hearing is scheduled for July, 20. Probably, the situation was provoked by the letter signed by 200 masters of Russian culture, headed to the Supreme Court asking to free the girls (http://pussy-riot.livejournal.com/27740.html)

One needs to mention that the defendants did not have time to familiarize themselves with the investigation because they were not given enough time to do so. However, this is not the worst thing in the situation. Neither the fact that the court  extended the time of the girls’ arrest several times, and they went on a hunger strike in response. It is not so terrible even to hear  the maximum sentence of seven years, to which everyone is used to – because they were talking about it right from the first day of the commitment.

The thing that really sounds terrible is the accusation itself confirmed by the prosecution. It is reported that Pussy Riot «caused significant damage to the sacred values of the Christian church and encroached on the sacramental mystery of the church, having  humiliated secular foundations of the Russian Orthodox Church in an aweless way.”

In Pussy Riot’s blog there are some documents. Among them – that very scanned copy of the indictment. Lines in red appeal to the rules adopted by church councils during the IV and VII centuries that the investigator uses as arguments proving the guilt of the girls (http://pussy-riot.livejournal.com/27607.html)

The girls’ lawyers are right: the accusation is not based on the canons of the Criminal Code asthere are no such terms in it. This is the lexicon of the church documents. And how  rational is it to follow the laws and regulations of religious institutions in the XXI century in secular state courts? The accusation was the last straw that forced the lawyers to appeal to  international legal authorities (http://freepussyriot.org/)

The complaint to the Strasbourg Court has already passed the first formal stage, it was assigned a number and it will be considered in a priority order. Pussy Riot’s case should also be considered in the Committee of the UN Human Rights – a letter to Ban Ki-moon has already been compiled and sent to international human rights activists, who repeatedly offered assistance to the girls through their lawyers.

Experts believe that Pussy Riot’s verdict may concern the actual terms of imprisonment. Of course, not seven years but three years of the colony – completely. It is also possible that the girls will be sentenced to the term they had already served to release them in the courtroom. In any case, the sentence must be rigid and create a precedent for the future.

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