by Igor Mukin, via Foreign Policy

A state prosecutor on Tuesday demanded a three-year jail term for three women from the punk band Pussy Riot, saying they had abused God when they stormed the altar of a Moscow cathedral and sang a “protest prayer” against the Russian Orthodox Church’s close links to Vladimir Putin. – [Reuters]

PUNK BAND POWER, the grrrl edition, has caught fire and spread far enough to engage even Madonna. When I first posted on Pussy Riot (with video of the song and performance that got them arrested) no one had started paying much attention yet.

Spencer Ackerman did a piece over at Foreign Policy on what this girl punk band could to to reinvigorate the genre, “making punk a threat again.”

Via Foreign Policy, we find out that “Russia’s most famous prisoner,” Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has released a statement:

Segezha, 6 August 2012 “” It is painful to watch what is taking place in the Khamovnichesky Court of the city of Moscow, where Masha, Nadya, and Katya are on trial. The word “trial” is applicable here only in the sense in which it was used by the Inquisitors of the Middle Ages.

I know this aquarium in courtroom number 7 well “” they made it especially for me and Platon, “just for us”, after the ECHR had declared that keeping defendants behind bars is degrading and violates the Convention on Human Rights.

This is a subtle and sophisticated way of mocking people who dared to file a complaint with the ECHR: ah, okay, so you say that a cage with bars is bad; well then, here’s a cage made of glass for you, a beaker with a little porthole through which you can talk to your lawyers, but you need to twist and contort yourself every which way to actually be able to speak through it. In the summer you feel like a tropical fish in that glass cage “” it is hot, and the air from the air conditioner in the courtroom does not circulate through the glass. It was hard for me and Platon “” two people “” to be in the aquarium together the whole day. I can not even imagine how all three of those poor girls manage to fit in there at once”¦[...]

If limiting familiarisation with the case and extending arrest is just the usual run-of-the-mill lawlessness, an 11-hour court session without a decent break even for lunch sure looks like the execution of an instruction to complete the judicial investigation, and maybe even the final submissions, before the end of the Olympiad, while the world’s mass information media are busy with other things, and our ignominy does not resonate quite as loudly. The ignominy of a great country, a country of world famous humanists and scientists, turning headlong into a backwards Asiatic province.

I am very ashamed and hurt. And not because of these girls “” the mistakes of youthful radicalism can be forgiven “” but for the state, which is profaning our Russia with its complete and utter lack of conscience.