Protesters in Dublin demonstrated against the prosecution of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, who have been sentenced in Moscow to two years in jail for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred."
Across the world protestors gathered with support coming from Paul McCartney, Madonna and even the White House.
The three female singer’s trial is seen as an attempt by the state to stamp out criticism that the Russian Government is a throwback to the Soviet era. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (22), Maria Alekhina (24) and Katya Samutsevich (30) could have faced up to seven years in prison after President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle initiated their prosecution.
Pussy Riot band members were arrested for singing and dancing a can-can in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral while wearing brightly-colored costumes and balaclavas. During their performance they said “Mother of God, drive out Putin!"
On Friday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the administration is “disappointed by the Pussy Riot verdict. While we understand the group’s behavior was offensive for some, we have concerns about the way these young women were treated by the Russian judicial system,” the Washington Post reported.
At his daily briefing, White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the administration is “disappointed by the Pussy Riot verdict. While we understand the group’s behavior was offensive for some, we have concerns about the way these young women were treated by the Russian judicial system.”
The British, French and German governments have also called for these women to be freed.
Protesters across the world voiced their outrage on the trial. The Associated Press reported “In a Paris square, supporters followed the trial by phone and shouted in unison with protesters in Moscow. In Kiev, Ukraine, four women, one who was topless, used a chainsaw to cut down a cross. And in cities across Europe and the U.S., young people donned the neon-colored balaclavas that have become symbols of the band.”
Pussy Riot have been imprisoned for five months so far because of their guerrilla-style performance.
Here’s a State News report on the Pussy Riot’s case: