Russia Confirms To The World That It's Not A Fan Of Free Speech: Pussy Riot Gets Two Years In Jail

from the pussy-riot-in-jail dept

Hopefully, many of you have been following the legal fight in Russia over the band/collective Pussy Riot, who performed an anti-Putin song inside a key Moscow cathedral. If so, then you know that, today, the band was sentenced to two years in jail. The sentence could have been worse, but just the fact that they're being punished, at all, for expressing their views is troubling enough. The three women have already been in jail since March, while the case moved forward. At the beginning, it was assumed that they would end up with jail sentences, but there had been some hope that the Russian judiciary would recognize the general horror of the rest of the world at the case and perhaps back down. The women are planning to appeal, so this isn't over yet.

Either way, the verdict is unfortunate in many ways. We talk about free speech issues all the time around here, and we recognize that other countries don't always view freedom of speech as being as central or as important as the US does. That said, the whole idea that a band would end up in jail over political speech should be distressing and problematic to anyone with a developed sense of "right" and "wrong." Some will say this isn't surprising, or that this is the way that some countries operate, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't still be offended by the decision on principle.

Filed Under: free speech, protests, pussy riot, russia, vladimir putin


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  1. identicon
    Jason, 17 Aug 2012 @ 10:35am

    Re: Religion is a bitch

    Perhaps an trans-temporal interview from Russian history will help us here:

    Rept: Now gentlemen, what our viewers really want to know is just how harmful an impact religion has had on freedom in Russia? So, ivan the Great, do you think religion is, or ever was the central problem, for Russian human rights?

    Ivan:(Glares)
    Rept: Okay, ah, Mr. Stalin? Religion and human rights?
    Stalin: Human writes? Yes you need some people to writing, but not the religion writing, I don't like this.
    Putin: Niet, Joseph...(Explaining in russian, making violent gestures, making "X" with his hands)....okay?

    Joe: Oh, oh, yes, no,no,no is ah, is about fun, you know just is fun, the whole (fingers quotation marks)"oppression" thing...is fun.

    Putin: Yes, I agree. You see, Joe, Dmitri,and me, even Ivan -- Good old-Ivan, I like to call him (Ivan glares at him): we are all really just fun guys having fun, you know...our way. Religion? I mean, Joseph, he doesn't like, Dmitri he likes, Ivan, well heheh, and me, I mean, I like the Easter eggs, so whatever, but human rights, oppression, torture, it is just about good fun, you know?. Whatever is best for you, you do that.

    Medvedev: (Shugs, nods)

    Ivan: (Glares---a brief, faint smile)

    Rept: (blinks) I see.

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