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Russian Prime Minister: “Pussy Riot Shouldn’t Have Been Sent To Prison”

Written by Kiel Egging on November 4, 2012

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has reinforced his support for his countrywomen Pussy Riot, saying the female rock trio shouldn’t have been sent to jail for their “punk prayer” in a Moscow cathedral earlier this year.

UK’s Daily Telegraph reports that Mr Medvedev described the trio as “unpleasant women” for their actions, but believes their sentence of two years imprisonment was too harsh.

“These are unpleasant figures, both on the outside and on the inside. They provoke extremely negative emotions in me, so unpleasant that I don’t even like to talk about it.

“But if I was a judge I wouldn’t have sent them to prison. Just because I don’t consider it correct that their punishment was in the form of a custodial sentence. They’d already been [in pre-trial detention], and that was enough.”

Last month, one of the band members, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on appeal after her lawyers successfully argued that she hadn’t taken her guitar out of its case before being kicked out of the cathedral.

The two remaining band members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, have been separated and sent to prison camps far away from their families, and are said to be enduring “brutal” conditions.

Mr Medvedev’s comments come after Pussy Riot were featured in a new episode of South Park that aired in the United States. The episode – which according to Wall St Journal pokes fun at people for rallying behind causes without thinking about what they are supporting – featured Jesus Christ ripping open his robe to reveal a T-shirt with the slogan, “Free Pussy Riot”.

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