News / Europe

Russia's Jailed Pussy Riot Members Change Lawyers

FILE - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L) and Maria Alyokhina, members of female punk band "Pussy Riot", look out from the defendent's cell in a courtroom in Moscow, July 30, 2012. FILE - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L) and Maria Alyokhina, members of female punk band "Pussy Riot", look out from the defendent's cell in a courtroom in Moscow, July 30, 2012.
x
FILE - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L) and Maria Alyokhina, members of female punk band "Pussy Riot", look out from the defendent's cell in a courtroom in Moscow, July 30, 2012.
FILE - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L) and Maria Alyokhina, members of female punk band "Pussy Riot", look out from the defendent's cell in a courtroom in Moscow, July 30, 2012.
VOA News
The two jailed members of the Russian all-female punk band Pussy Riot have replaced their legal team. Their lawyers cited public pressure for their decision to quit.

Mark Feigin, one of the lawyers for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, confirmed the news Monday, saying they had been refused a meeting with Tolokonnikova at the prison camp where she is being held. He said they had earlier agreed with their clients that under such circumstances, they would leave the case. He added they did not want to expose the women to any more danger.

Tolokonnikova's husband, Pyotr Verzilov, said the women now will be represented by Irina Khrunova, the lawyer who helped free their band mate, Yekaterina Samutsevich.

In October, an appeals court ordered the release of Samutsevich, but upheld the two-year jail sentences of the other two band members for an unsanctioned protest at a Moscow cathedral. A judge suspended Samutsevich's sentence, saying guards threw her out of the cathedral before she could take part in the performance.
 
All three members were convicted in August of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. They have argued their impromptu performance was political in nature and not an attack on religion.

Samutsevich, represented by Khrunova, has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the case.

The trio was arrested on the altar of Russia’s most prominent Orthodox cathedral in January, after they called on the Virgin Mary to deliver them from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said he thought the punishment was very strict. Putin has said, however, the court ruling was correct.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to each other after a signing ceremony during a Russian-German business forum in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012.Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to each other after a signing ceremony during a Russian-German business forum in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012.
x
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to each other after a signing ceremony during a Russian-German business forum in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to each other after a signing ceremony during a Russian-German business forum in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012.
Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel clashed with Putin over the two-year jail sentences imposed on the Pussy Riot members, and expressed Germany's concern about the passage of laws in Russia that could be used to stifle dissent.

Putin has faced vocal protests at home and tough criticism from abroad since taking over his third term as Russia's president, with rights groups accusing his administration of stifling freedoms and cracking down on dissent. Most recently, Russia's new laws on treason and slander have raised widespread concerns for restricting contact with foreign organizations.

Putin in turn has accused his critics of interfering in Russia's internal affairs and of seeking to foment anti-government sentiment in Russia.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid