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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid