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.
- Russian Church: Western calls for religious neutrality of state play into the hands of chaos scenario 24 April 2015, 17:51
- Yerevan memorial complex hosting service for Armenian genocide victims 24 April 2015, 10:25
- Armenian Church canonizes victims of Ottoman genocide 24 April 2015, 10:00
- Church official urges vets to focus on animal's health, not profit 23 April 2015, 12:14
- Church of Moscow Patriarchate set on fire in Babi Yar again 23 April 2015, 10:00
- Lavrov: Islamic State is Russia's main enemy now 22 April 2015, 12:51
- FSB officer claims existence of "prison Jamaats" in Russia 22 April 2015, 12:06
- Innocent people suffer from sanctions between Russia and West - Pope of Rome 22 April 2015, 10:02
- Three jailed for life over murder of prominent religious leader in Dagestan 21 April 2015, 12:07
- Russian patriarch blames IS for Islamic demonization 21 April 2015, 10:03
- Patriarch Kirill calls on Christian leaders to unite over killing, intimidation of Christians in Mideast 21 April 2015, 10:02
- Good Russia-Germany relations important for whole world - Patriarch Kirill 21 April 2015, 10:00
- Lavrov hopes that the Orthodox Christians in Ukraine "will not allow anyone to manipulate them as a pawn in someone else's game" 20 April 2015, 18:18
- Church hopes for creation of Orthodox banking in Russia 20 April 2015, 17:48
- Armenian Church to canonize all victims of Armenian genocide 20 April 2015, 17:45
- Two Mormon missionaries detained near St. Petersburg 20 April 2015, 10:00
- Russia's top intelligence officer warns of spread of radical Islam in Middle East and Asia 17 April 2015, 11:31
- Islamic State a challenge to stability of state system in Middle East - Pakistani expert 17 April 2015, 10:26
- Patriarch Kirill expresses concerns about crimes against Christians in Middle East 17 April 2015, 10:00
- Putin hopes conflict caused by Pope's statement on genocide of Armenians can be resolved (updated) 16 April 2015, 17:28
- Not enough is being done to protect Christians in Middle East - Putin 16 April 2015, 17:17
- Some counties that sponsor jihadist groups are re-directing them to Caucasus, Central Asia - Iranian defense minister 16 April 2015, 16:06
- Putin is concerned about presence of Russian citizens among ISIS members 16 April 2015, 15:24
- Golden iPhones with Rublev's Trinity at the backside for sale in Russia 15 April 2015, 18:40
- Patriarch Kirill consecrates a foundation stone of the church to commemorate Special Service officers 15 April 2015, 18:14
- Kazakh teenager, his partner convicted over plans to join ISIL 15 April 2015, 12:34
- Abbas accuses of attempts to Judaize East Jerusalem 14 April 2015, 17:10
- Georgian president grants 78 pardons for Easter 14 April 2015, 13:26
- Young Tajik Muslims banned from hajj 14 April 2015, 12:51
- Russian police bust Hizb ut-Tahrir units in Nizhnevartovsk and Chelyabinsk region - NAC 14 April 2015, 11:28