• Fri, Feb 8 2013

One Year After ‘Hooliganism,’ Pussy Riot Take Their Appeal To Human Rights Court

pussy riotFebruary 21st will mark one year since the ladies of feminist punk band, Pussy Riot, pissed off Monster Vladimir Putin by expressing their opinion. Putin does not like when people besides he have an opinion.

If you don’t remember the story — and you really should — the three women were arrested for performing a punk prayer at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow; their protests were not welcome. In August, a few months after their arrests, members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were convicted on charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” All three women were sentenced to two years in prison work camps, camps so harsh and vile that Tolokonnikova was hospitalized on January 24th of this year for exhaustion and “work overload.” But don’t worry, you guys, she’s doing better so Putin put her back to work in jail, because that’s what people deserve when they express an opinion that my differ from a monster. All hail censorship! Right?

Yesterday the lawyers for the group took their appeal to a higher power: the European Convention on Human Rights. The purpose of the appeal is not only to exonerate and eventually acquit Pussy Riot because the Russian government was in direct violation of their human rights, but to help protect the rights of future protesters in Russia. Because seriously, you just don’t put three women in jail for singing a song; it doesn’t matter how much you think it might stem from religious hatred (although the members maintain it was completely political and not religious in its intent.) You just don’t. What is Putin trying to get all Stalin on everyone’s asses over there?

In October Samutsevich was released, but at the moment the two other members are supposed to finish their two-year stint in prison. However, their lawyers hope they’ll be out before then.

To win this case in the European Court of Human Rights would be a major step in providing protection for those who choose to stand up for their beliefs, and show the world what we already know pretty much anyway: Putin is an angry little man who is wrong. As Amnesty International advocate Jasmine Heiss explains:

“When we look at the Pussy Riot case, a victory at the European court would be huge – it would be really symbolically important. It would help to keep the world’s attention on Russia to ensure that everyone is still watching this case and that the Putin-led government knows it.”

See that, Putin? We’re watching you. We didn’t forget. The vocal protests may currently be on mute, but it’s not out of fear of you. We’re all just biding our time, and when you’re proven to be wrong by the Court of Human Rights, we’re going to point, laugh, ridicule you and say you “got what you asked for.” You know, the same way your responded when asked about the Pussy Riot conviction.

Karma is a bitch, but a pretty one at that.

 

Photo: Misha Japaridze/Associated Press

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  • M -

    It’s not something Putin made up – the hooliganism law. The government just used it to their advantage. Although, admittedly, it’s not very clever to punish them, especially what with the whole world watching and judging.

    …and also everyone seems to forget that what they actually did was immature and stupid. Not worth two years in a labour camp, but immature and stupid nonetheless.