Sunday 28 December 2014

Pussy Riot member freed from prison

Roland Oliphant Moscow

Published 11/10/2012 | 05:00

A member of the female Russian punk trio Pussy Riot was freed from prison after successfully appealing against her sentence, but her bandmates remain in jail for their protest against President Vladimir Putin.

Yekaterina Samutsevich (30) was freed on probation after her lawyer argued that she should not have been tried alongside Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina because she did not take part in the performance of a "punk prayer" in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour that led to their arrest.

Ms Samutsevich's lawyer said her client was detained almost immediately by church security after she entered the area around the altar and therefore had "not been praying, jumping [or] shouting expletives offensive to believers".

The other two members of the group will continue serving their sentence after the court rejected their argument that they be released on the grounds that Mr Putin had prejudiced the court by publicly commenting on the case.

Mark Feigin, a defence lawyer, said the appeal would continue at the European Court of Human Rights.

Ms Tolokonnikova (22), Ms Alekhina (24) and Ms Samutsevich were sentenced to two years imprisonment for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred in August. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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