Russia: Freemuse calls for free and fair trial for Pussy Riot
Freemuse sends appeals to President Vladimir Putin, Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church, the public and district prosecutor and the district court, calling for a fair and free trial for the three band members of Pussy Riot
In an appeal letter sent to Russian authorities on 27 July 2012, Freemuse reminds the public prosecutor and the local courts to respect the international UN conventions that guarantee the right to freedom of expression and the accused’s right to a free and fair trial within a reasonable time period.
Live broadcast from the court room
On 30 July 2012, the Khomovnichesky District Court opened the trial against the three female band members of Pussy Riot. The legal proceedings are transmitted live on the Khomovnichesky court’s website (in Russian language).
Also, you can follow the live twitter updates from the court room (in Russian language as well).
During the preliminary hearing on 20 July 2012, the court had initially rejected the request of the defence to call a total of 34 people to the court as witnesses. The list of witnesses also counted President Vladimir Putin and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriach Kirill I.
One of the three band members, Yekaterina Samutsevich, claims that the continued detention and trial against herself and her friends form part of a greater campaign staged by the authorities to reduce citizens’ political activity. In a statement read out by one the the group’s lawyers, Samutsevich said:
“I see it as the start of a campaign of authoritative repressive measures aimed at reducing citizens’ political activity and instilling the sense of fear among citizens actively involved in politics.”
Pussy Riot’s official home page:
Read more: about Pussy Riot on artsfreedom.org