Music world gets behind Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot await their verdict for singing a protest song against Putin
Pussy Riot await their verdict for singing a protest song against Putin

By Georgie Keate

Beatles frontman Paul McCartney has become the latest celebrity to offer his support to Russian punk girl group Pussy Riot by sending an open letter defending "artistic freedom".

Nadia Tolokonikovoy, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich are waiting for their verdict due tomorrow on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

Pussy Riot were arrested in March 2012 for staging a protest stunt against Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and face three years in a corrective labour facility if convicted.


"I'm writing to show my support for you at this difficult time," McCartney wrote.

"I would like you to know that I very much hope the Russian authorities would support the principle of free speech for all their citizens and not feel that they have to punish you for your protest."

The Canadian rapper Peaches has also released a video called 'Free pussy Riot' demanding the charges are dropped with the help of artists like The Knife, Kate Nash and Scissor Sisters.

"Anarchists, feminists, what we need!" chants the song.

"Here's the pitch/ Here's the switch/ Put Putin on a stick and play Burn the Witch!"

The campaign has attracted more than 100,000 signatures so far and asks for donations to Pussy Riot's defence team.

The verdict has attracted fresh controversy after judge Marina Syrova was put under state protection after receiving threats from Pussy Riot supporters.

She was appointed by Putin in 2008 and according to Openspace.ru, a publication which has analysed her rulings over three years, she agrees with the arguments of the prosecution in 90% of cases.

"Among the 178 verdicts delivered by Marina Syrova there is only one acquittal," it said.

Syrova also reports to Viktor Danilkin, the judge who sent down Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the business tycoon who infamously disobeyed Putin.

Comments

Load in comments