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Kremlin’s rights council blasts Pussy Riot verdict

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Members of the all-girl punk band “Pussy Riot” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (R), Maria Alyokhina (R) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (C) sit in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow, Aug 17, 2012.    — Photo by Reuters

MOSCOW: The Russian human right council is questioning the guilty verdict and two-year prison sentences against punk provocateurs Pussy Riot.         

The presidential council on human rights said in a statement late Tuesday that “criminal law was used to deal with actions which entail administrative liability only” in the case. Members also questioned why the court did not impose suspended sentences on two of the three women who have small children.

Three members of the band were found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred earlier this month after performing a “punk prayer” against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral. The verdict caused protests and outrage both in Russia and abroad.

The council is an independent advisory body appointed by the president and its recommendations are not binding.


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