Free Pussy Riot!
  • Petitioned Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This petition was delivered to:

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
President Vladimir Putin

Free Pussy Riot!

    1. Yaroslav Nikitenko
    2. Petition by

      Yaroslav Nikitenko

      Moscow, Russian Federation

Русский

Three women, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, are being imprisoned in a pre-trial detention center in Moscow, accused of participation in a Pussy Riot band performance. The women are charged under Part 2 of Article 213 of the Russian Criminal Code, facing up to 7 years in prison. Although two of the three detainees are mothers of small children, the court has decided to hold them in custody until at least June 24.

Several members of the punk group ‘Pussy Riot’, with their faces covered in balaclavas, sang a protest song titled “Virgin Mary, redeem us of Putin” in an Orthodox Temple of Christ the Savior in Moscow. In the song, the group criticizes the dedication and support shown by some representatives of the Orthodox Church to Vladimir Putin. Nevertheless, the Pussy Riot participants’ behavior during the 'Punk Prayer' performance in the Temple of Christ the Savior does not in any way constitute a crime, which makes their prosecution unjust. The case is therefore setting a precedent - an administrative offence being treated as a criminal one; opposition to church policy is being treated as a criminal offence.

The women are imprisoned not for a real crime but for being critical of Putin.

The Pussy Riot performance and the course of the case clearly indicate an increasing integration between the state and the Russian Orthodox Church, in contradiction with the provisions of the Russian Constitution which guarantee the secular status of the state. Defending the Pussy Riot case detainees represents a commitment to preserving the norms of a democratic constitutional state within the Russian Federation.

Since the three women’s arrest, some of their family members as well as one of their lawyers have received threats. Even though the police and the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office have been informed about these threats, there appears to be no ongoing investigation into the incidents. In addition, the tax authorities have reportedly blocked the bank account of their lawyers’ association, in order to put pressure on the lawyers to withdraw from the case. Investigators have threatened to deprive Maria Alyokhina of her little son. The police are disrupting peaceful protests and actions of support for Pussy Riot, arresting and charging participants in these actions. Pressure on the detainees and their supporters is unprecedented.

International support

Amnesty International have declared Pussy Riot to be prisoners of conscience. The European Union delegation to Russia and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe have expressed concerns about the detention and possible imprisonment of Russian opposition activists . The UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, has emphasized that the charges levelled against Pussy Riot are disproportionate to the level of seriousness of any offense committed by them. Other national international groups, including Memorial and PEN International, have condemned the severe repression of the group by the Russian authorities. However, despite this loud international concern and national outrage at the court action, the latest hearing clearly demonstrated that the court is determined to adopt a severe attitude to the women.

We are pressing for the immediate release of the detainees, and that their criminal prosecution should cease.

Please sign now. You may also leave a personal message when you sign. Please send a copy to: http://eng.letters.kremlin.ru/. We urge you to organize an international solidarity campaign on June 16 to June 24th! More ways to help can be found on http://freepussyriot.org/help. For coordination of the events, please write to this address: info@freepussyriot.org and follow the news on http://freepussyriot.org/!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 2,500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Julie Soubigou GUIPAVAS, FRANCE
      • over 1 year ago

      Au nom de la liberté d'expression, et parce qu'une telle injustice ne devrait jamais pouvoir arriver.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kathleen lundy SLC, UT, AL
      • over 1 year ago

      freedom of speech; women's rights; sep

      of Church and State etc

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Maria Luisa Costa FLORENCE, ITALY
      • over 1 year ago

      for freedom!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • michal Nosatzki TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
      • over 1 year ago

      I support freedom of mind

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ann Costello PENSACOLA, FL
      • over 1 year ago

      Free the girls! Prison is NO PLACE for these youngsters!! These are your CHILDREN!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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