Claim by Pussy Riot girl for involvement in extremism case rejected
MOSCOW, November 9 - RAPSI. The Moscow Zamoskvoretsky District Court has rejected freed Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich's request to be involved in the claim pending for recognition of video footage of the band's punk prayer as extremist, court press secretary Yevgenia Pazukhina told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).
"Samutsevich's application was submitted to the court, but it was returned to her because no claim by the prosecutor's office to have the video declared extremist has yet reached the court," the press secretary said.
Samutsevich submitted the application because she feared that the court may side with the prosecutor's office and declare the video extremist, and this would violate her rights, Gazeta.ru reported.
"According to the ruling, it was established that Samutsevich acted in the video. No one is saying that she distributed or edited it. Therefore if this video, in which she was involved as an actress, is declared extremist, it will affect her rights," Samutsevich's attorney Irina Khrunova told Gazeta.ru.
It was reported on November 2 that the Prosecutor General planned to consider the Pussy Riot video to see whether it be considered extremist.
In late February, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas performed a "punk-style" prayer at the altar of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. An edited video of their performance that was posted on the Internet caused a public outcry. Members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Samutsevich were arrested shortly thereafter.
The Khamovnichesky District Court sentenced the three Pussy Riot members to two years in prison on August 17. Later, the Moscow City Court commuted Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich's sentence from two years in prison to immediate release on probation due to the fact that she was detained by security prior to reaching the stage, and so did not actually participate in the protest.
The judge left Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina's sentences intact.