Switch to Desktop Site
 
 

Russia's Medvedev plays 'good cop' on Pussy Riot

(Read article summary)
Image

Maxim Shemetov/REUTERS/File

(Read caption) Members of the female punk band 'Pussy Riot' (R-L) Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow, in this August 17 file photo.

About these ads

Dmitri Medvedev, Russia's prime minister and former president, has departed from the official script – as he sometimes dramatically does – to call for the release of three Pussy Riot women who were sentenced last month to two years in a penal colony for committing sacrilege in Moscow's premier Orthodox cathedral.

The women have been in prison since March, and their appeal hearing is set to begin in two weeks. Mr. Medvedev called for the women to be given suspended sentences.

"Imprisonment is a very severe, even frightening responsibility," Medvedev told a meeting of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, of which he is nominal leader.

"This well-known group of girls have been in prison quite a long time already, and that is a very serious punishment for everything they did, regardless of the sentence…. Prolonging their prison confinement seems unproductive in this case," he added.

Medvedev's comments came just a few days after President Vladimir Putin compared Pussy Riot performances with "witches' sabbaths" and mused over how obscene their name sounds in English in an interview with the Kremlin-run RT network. Otherwise, Mr. Putin insisted he had nothing to do with the case.

Next

Page:   1   |   2   |   3

Share