Freedom of punk

– editorial
 Free Pussy Riot poster on the Westerkerk bell tower in Amsterdam

After seven months in prison and massive protests around the world, Pussy Riot still have no hope of being released. The punk band’s appeal has been postponed by Russian court again. The three band members who have been imprisoned since February for their anti-Putin performance in a Moscow Cathedral, are now hoping only to diminish the sentence. The unjust treatment of these girls has generated attention and acts of support all over the world. As Amnesty International accurately points out, this is “a bitter blow for freedom of expression” in Russia. In a country where singing politically motivated songs in a church is considered “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, and is punished by years in prison, it takes courage to do what these girls did.
The sentence is harsh, but should come as no surprise. You don’t run up to the altar in a church during mass, wearing colorful balaclavas and call Putin “The lord’s shit” without expecting any consequences. Pussy Riot seem to have accomplished their goal. The punk band’s supporters now span from Madonna and Sting to Aung San Suu Kyi, and thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter. The international attention toward the punkers even made Prime Minister Medvedev admit that the sentence is too strict. However, many other political activists in Russia such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev are still imprisoned, and have been for a very long time. The world is watching three innocent girls being imprisoned just because of a song. But there are many more like them. Hopefully, the trial will generate more concern regarding the treatment of all activists in Russia, not just loud girls in colorful clothes with a provocative band name.

This entry was published on October 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm and is filed under English for journalists, Photos. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Freedom of punk

  1. Pingback: Freedom of punk « Im/Press

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