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PUSSY RIOT protest artist interviewed by Quietus; the girls stay in jail until January 2013

Quietus magazine conducted an interview with PUSSY RIOT protest artist. Check out the details below.

Last week, a Moscow judge ordered that the three members of feminist punk collective Pussy Riot, arrested for performing an anti-Putin “punk prayer” in the city’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, should remain incarcerated until January 2013.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina have already been in prison for almost five months since their arrest in March on charges of hooliganism. If found guilty, they face up to seven years in jail. It’s thought that the Russian Orthodox church are pushing for the women to be kept incarcerated, a move enabled by their close links to Putin, the Russian President, with Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesperson for the church, stating: “This sin will be punished in this life and the next.”

The case has highlighted Russia’s distressing clamp-down on freedom of expression. In an interview with Vice, one member of the collective, Tyurya, described the state of the country: “a third-world dictatorship with all its nice and classy features: horrible economy based on natural resources, unbelievable levels of corruption, absence of independent courts, and a dysfunctional political system. And under Putin we are up for another decade of brutal sexism and conformism as official government policies.”

The group’s detainment prompted a widespread outcry, both in Russia and in the international community. Leading cultural figures in Russia have signed an open letter calling for a release, while a recent poll showed that 50% of the surveyed Muscovites were against their detention. Amnesty International, who have stated “we believe that Nadezhda, Maria and Ekaterina are prisoners of conscience, and are calling for their immediate release”, have begun a text campaign to free the women, which has so far seen over 12,000 messages of support.

Earlier this week, while their pre-trial court hearings were taken place, artist Petr Pavlensky staged a protest against the incarceration in front of St Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral, sewing his mouth shut and holding a banner that read “Pussy Riot act is a replay of a famous act by Jesus Christ”.

We asked Petr about his art, his protest and Russia’s stance on freedom of expression.

GO here to read the full interview.

PUSSY RIOT – “Богородица, Путина прогони” video:

Photo by Petr Pavlensky.

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