RUSSIAN PUSSY RIOT MEMBERS JAILED

by Miryam Muller in


  The cathedral protest which landed the three Russian punk girls in trouble with the country's authorities

The three members of Russian punks-against-Putin band Pussy Riot face seven years’ imprisonment if convicted of the trumped-up charge of hooliganism levelled against them for staging an impromptu protest against President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral, an act which outraged the Russian leader.

‘It’s torture,’ whispers Maria Alyokhina as she glances anxiously towards the guard.

‘We don’t sleep and we are not given any food. But God is with me and I won’t be scared by what a man can do to me.

‘I thought the church loved its children... but it turns out it loves only the children who believe in Putin. I thought the church’s role was to call us to believe in God, not to tell us to believe in one certain president.’

The women’s protest, during which they were dressed in colourful costumes and wore knitted balaclavas, has been labelled as sacrilege. During a one-minute performance they danced around the cathedral’s altar, high-kicking, bowing, blessing themselves and chanting: ‘Mother Mary, drive Putin away.’

A video was posted on YouTube two weeks before the presidential vote in March in which Putin won a third term, despite a wave of massive protests against his rule.

http://youtu.be/Tax4wFFBSLo

A Pussy Riot supporter is shouting slogans outside the court ahead of the trial. Support for the women have been wide spread including U.S. rockers Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Stephen Fry

The trio waits in a defendant's cage awaiting the beginning of their trial session at the Khamovnichesky district court in Moscow earlier today

On trial: Three members of feminist punk group Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova , left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, right and Maria Aliokhina, centre, are on trial for putting on an anti-Putin performance in a Moscow cathedral