14 March 2012, 16:26
Human Rights Watch opposes Pussy Riot prosecution
Moscow, March 14, Interfax - The international human rights organization Human Rights Watch has criticized the decision made by the Moscow City Court to keep under arrest two members of the punk group Pussy Riot who recently made a scandalous stunt in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
On Wednesday, the Moscow City Court upheld the arrest of Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, declining their lawyers' complaints.
"We believe that the talks of criminal liability are incommensurate and inexpedient," Anna Sevortyan, the head of the Human Rights Watch Moscow office, told Interfax on Wednesday.
"The proposed punishment of up to eight years of criminal liability is absolutely incommensurate with the girls' actions," she said.
"This is a situation where several channels of public tension, between the Church and the Church public and the state and the secular publish, have clashed," Sevortyan said.
On February 21, the feminist punk group Pussy Riot gave a performance near the entrance to the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The young women said their performance was "a punk prayer." A criminal case was opened on the basis of the Russian Criminal Code article dealing with hooliganism. Three of the women have recently been detained, and two of them have been arrested.
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