Verdict Against Pussy Riot

Various NGOs, including members of the Human Rights House Network, have together reacted against the verdict against the members of the Pussy Riot. We call for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich of the music band Pussy Riot to be released.

Full joint statement on the right

Members of the Civic Solidarity Plateform, including members of the Human Rights House Network, have together called upon Russian authorities to put an end to the harassment of activists and to ensure that the fundamental right to freedom of expression is upheld and that no one is imprisoned for peacefully expressing their political views.

We consider the conviction of the three women for their peaceful, if controversial and, in the views of some, offensive protest action, to be wrongful and excessive. In this case, Russian criminal law was misused to stifle freedom of expression as protected by international human rights law.

The Pussy Riot trial is part of a crackdown on freedom of expression since Vladimir Putin returned to the Russian presidency in May 2012. The sentencing of Pussy Riot is emblematic of the Russian government’s increasing intolerance of dissent. In June 2012 the Kremlin significantly increased fines for violating the rules on holding peaceful assemblies and, at the same time, toughened these rules to make it more difficult to even hold public protests. The Russian government passed a law that gives authorities the power to order what they consider “extremist” content to be removed from Russian websites. Many fear that this law will be used to crack down on dissent and shut down anti-Putin websites. Russia’s State Duma also adopted a bill that requires many non-governmental organizations, mostly advocacy groups, which receive donations from outside Russia, to register as “foreign agents.”

Statement on the Verdict Against Pussy Riot

We, the undersigned members of the Civic Solidarity Platform, call on the Russian appellate court, upon the filing of an appeal, to uphold Russia’s international obligations with regard to respect for freedom of expression and quash the criminal convictions against Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich of the music band Pussy Riot.

Full statement

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