27 July 2012, 19:10
U.S. ambassador to Russia: Pussy Riot performers' treatment too hars
Moscow, July 27, Interfax - The U.S. ambassador to Russia has expressed concern over current criminal action against three women punk rock band performers who have been in detention since February for a scandalous anti-Putin performance inside Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
The action against the Pussy Riot band musicians is most likely disproportionate to what they have done, Ambassador Michael McFaul told Russian online newspaper Gazeta.ru.
The three young women, who were wearing masks, appeared in the cathedral on February 21. They climbed a pulpit and staged a punk concert. The action triggered a huge outcry.
A criminal case on "hooliganism" charges was opened. The performers were detained.
Rights defenders hold that the maximum the three women deserve for their minor hooliganism is administrative punishment. Amnesty International declared the Pussy Riot detainees prisoners of conscience.
The three performers were remanded in custody until January 12, 2013, during a closed-door hearing at Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court.
The next hearing is due on July 30.
McFaul expressed anxiety in his gazeta.ru interview at allegations by Russian officials that the action against the Pussy Riot musicians is in line with international legal standards, and that so is some recent Russian legislation that has been attacked by rights activists.
It is a key international legal principle that punishment must be commensurable with the crime it has been meted out for, McFaul said. Moreover, it is untrue that the new Russian law to confer "foreign agent" status on foreign-funded nongovernmental organizations that engage in politics is effectively a replica of a U.S. law, he said.
McFaul said the Pussy Riot affair is giving rise to worldwide concerns.
He said he had heard Russian President Vladimir Putin say he wanted more democratic government. McFaul said he believed Putin was telling the truth.
The ambassador also said the U.S. is making efforts to ensure that all countries comply with democratic principles.
- Cathedral mosque to be built in Simferopol with Turkey participating - Mufti of Crimea 27 August 2015, 14:34
- Russian soldiers will learn methods of struggle against Islamic radicals and sects 26 August 2015, 13:07
- Russian Church likens attacks on Orthodox Ukrainians to Soviet-era persecutions 26 August 2015, 10:04
- Shelling damages a diocesan building in Gorlovka 25 August 2015, 11:16
- Patriarch Kirill hopes for interaction between Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian authorities in interests of society 24 August 2015, 17:11
- Schismatics disrupted a divine service and seized an Orthodox church not far from Kiev 24 August 2015, 11:29
- Court seizes over one million Jehovah's Witnesses brochures brought into Russia 21 August 2015, 17:42
- Blogger from Karelia who criticized Church and received shelter in Estonia offers to exchange himself for Kohver 20 August 2015, 16:20
- Deputy imam killed in Stavropol territory 20 August 2015, 14:20
- Russia and Church cast a challenge to all evil powers - Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin 20 August 2015, 10:06
- 20% decrease in number of hajj-goers is prognosed in Russia as the ruble devaluates 19 August 2015, 17:50
- Kazakh priest conquers highest mountain in the Central Asia 19 August 2015, 12:58
- Teenagers hoist ISIL flag in southern Tajikistan 19 August 2015, 12:34
- African Patriarch to make pilgrimage to Russia 18 August 2015, 15:37
- Aksyonov won't allow gay prides in Crimea 18 August 2015, 14:18
- Orthodox believers ask Moscow Prosecutor to give legal evaluation of notorious exhibition in Manege 18 August 2015, 12:29
- Orthodox activists deny involvement in Moscow deputy assault 18 August 2015, 10:05
- Member of Hizb ut-Tahrir cell in St. Petersburg sentenced to five years in jail 17 August 2015, 17:20
- Petards and smoke grenades thrown at participants in homosexual forum in Odessa 17 August 2015, 15:08
- Incident in Manege promotes exhibition and Enteo, both sides should be punished, Orthodox human rights advocate believes 17 August 2015, 14:43
- Church official speaks for giving the food stuff on Russia's embargo list to the poor and Donbass 17 August 2015, 11:20
- Manezh radical attack to increase price of insurance for works of art going to Moscow - culture expert 17 August 2015, 10:21
- Rights defender Alexeyeva calls for punishing religious activists who vandalized sculpture exhibition in Moscow 17 August 2015, 10:07
- Art exhibition at Moscow's Manege working as normal following attack by radical Orthodox activists 17 August 2015, 10:00
- Incident with Russian top model Natalia Vodianova's sister should exterminate attitude to the disabled as second-class people 14 August 2015, 19:54
- Court bans LGBT march in Odessa 13 August 2015, 16:45
- UOC asks Constantinople not to interfere in church affairs in Ukraine 13 August 2015, 15:48
- Ukraine's border guard service reports detention of priest allegedly involved with militia battalion in Donbass 13 August 2015, 14:21
- Majority of Russians place feelings of believers above freedom of speech and expression – poll 13 August 2015, 11:42
- Church urges not to turn Russia in 'a kingdom of managers and foul mouths' 13 August 2015, 11:10