19 April 2012, 19:59
Court extends custody for all three Pussy Riot detainees (updated)
Moscow, April 19, Interfax - Moscow's Tagansky Court has extended detention terms for all of the three Pussy Riot punk band detainees until 24 over a scandalous concert inside the Church of Christ the Savior.
The court upheld prosecutors' arguments and ordered Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich to remain in custody. Their lawyers will appeal the ruling in the Moscow City Court.
"I am not a danger to society. I do not intend to commit offenses or hide from the prosecution," Samutsevich said.
Mark Feygin, a lawyer for one of the Pussy Riot detainees, told Interfax that the decision would be appealed.
"Our complaint is ready. We will petition to the European Court of Human Rights," he said.
Investigator Artyom Ranchenkov accused the defense of engaging mass media in a campaign to distort society's opinion about the Pussy Riot action.
The court rejected Tolokonnikova's request to change the measure of restraint that she considers "excessive and an element of pressure". She told reporters: "I think that what we did was right."
On February 21 several members of the Pussy Riot punk band, wearing masks covering their faces, staged an anti-Putin performance at the Christ the Savior Cathedral. The Pussy Riot stunt prompted an enormous public outcry and infuriated the faithful.
On April 3 Amnesty International named the Pussy Riot detainees prisoners of conscience and called for their immediate and unconditional release.
The Russian Orthodox Church strongly condemned the girls and expects them to repent.
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