The Pussy Riot saga rages on.
Roughly a week after Russian women Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, were sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism, a lawyer representing the trio has applied for an appeal.
The women’s imprisonment, sparked by their “punk prayer” protest of Vladimir Putin at a church altar in Moscow, seems unlikely to be overruled, defense lawyer Nikolai Polozov conceded to Reuters. “If the court abides by the law it would throw out the verdict,” he said. “But being realists, understanding all the efforts the state has put into this case, we think it’s unlikely the verdict will be overturned.”
However, Polozov has his fingers crossed for shortened or conditional sentences, though even that looks to be a pipe dream given that the Russian media and government have reacted defensively to the harsh negative criticism coming from other corners of the world. As the imprisoned Samutsevich told the Guardian, “Our verdict shows just how scared Putin’s regime is of anyone who can undermine its legitimacy,”
Since the situation looks pretty dire for them back in Russia, it might be wise for the currently unjailed, on-the-lam members of the Pussy Riot collective to keep running.