August 31, 2014 02:13

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Iniquities

Pussy Riot indicted for licentious dance and high kicks

19.07.12 18:58    By Daria Zagvizdina, edited by Semyon Kvasha

«The short dresses, baring certain parts of the body increase the danger of the crime they committed, give it the outlook of the deliberately malevolent and carefully planned action to debase the feelings and beliefs of the numerous believers of the orthodox Christian faith, and diminishing the spiritual foundations of the state».

«The short dresses, baring certain parts of the body increase the danger of the crime they committed, give it the outlook of the deliberately malevolent and carefully planned action to debase the feelings and beliefs of the numerous believers of the orthodox Christian faith, and diminishing the spiritual foundations of the state».   Photo: pussy-riot.livejournal.com


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A bill of indictment of the Pussy Riot members was published on Thursday. Three alleged members of the group – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina, were accused of hooliganism (article 213 of the Criminal Code) for their Punk prayer "Mother of God, Banish Putin" in the Christ the Savior cathedral.

There are approximately 50 pages of indictment for each of the accused. With few minor exceptions covering the activists' personal information, their cases are identical. All the witness testimonies (10 of them) and victims (there are nine) who were in the cathedral during the "punk prayer" are the same, too.

The investigators are sure that Tolokonnikova, Samutsevich and Alekhina prepared for their protest in advance and had planned it thoroughly. "They had distributed the parts, deliberately bought clothes clearly contradicting the common rules of the church and the demands of order, discipline, and church practice," the document said. The investigation specified that certain parts of Pussy Riot clothes, in particular the face masks "and the short dresses, showing certain parts of the body...increased the danger of the crime they committed, giving it an outlook of a deliberately malevolent and carefully planned event to debase the feelings and beliefs of the numerous believers of the orthodox Christian faith, and diminishing the spiritual foundations of the state."

According to the indictment, before visiting the main cathedral of Russia, the activists did everything possible to notify as many people as possible about the event, and the visit itself should have "Provoked unrest among the believers, touch on their most sacred ideals, their ideas of justice, good, and evil; make them search unwittingly for the opportunity to retaliate; create grounds for unfriendly protests by groups that give preference to other religious movements." The indictment doesn't say anything about the fact that during the first few days after the controversial video of the Punk Prayer appeared on Youtube, several hundred people watched it. After the activists were detained, the number of hits jumped to thousands, and now there are more that 1.5 mln views.

There are many opinionated adjectives in the indictment: "insolently bright" colors, "vulgarly, insolently, cynically moved along the ambon", "devilish actions."

Witnesses testified about the prayer as follows: "They jumped, lifted their legs, imitating a dance and hitting imaginary adversaries with their fists."

The investigators supposed that the girls tried "to devalue church traditions and dogmas," "to diminish the creed of believers," "to show their hatred of Christianity," "to encroach upon the singularity of religion."

The victims' testimony is about ten pages long. All the victims call themselves Orthodox Christians. There are identical phrases from different witnesses in the text despite the fact they all talked to investigators privately. The church guard, the sacristan and parishioners all said that the activists "flailed their hands an legs chaotically, danced and hopped about," and that "their behavior was, to put it mildly, inappropriate, and actually infringed all the common rules of conduct in church," and that the punk prayer offended all of them.

The protest cause identical feelings in all of the victims: indignation, irritation, and insult. They all mentioned "a severe spiritual pain" because the protest happened during last week before Lent. All the victims didn't believe the activists' declarations that they sympathize with Orthodox Christianity.

They thought that the words "Holy shit" is a blaspheme towards Jesus Christ, and the fact that the activists crossed themselves and bowed, victims saw it as a parody of believers' actions.

All the victims were filled with indignation because Pussy Riot called for the Mother of God to become a feminist. They all said in their testimony that feminism is not the fight for women's rights but the destruction of family values: "They laugh at the gramd destiny of the mother – to bear children, and call for senseless protest or an all-out war."

There are also experts' reports in the indictment. The dances the Pussy Riot members performed were described as "sassy", "vulgar", "licentious", "inappropriately sexual", "sexually debauched" – among other things, because the protest was performed in the Christ the Savior cathedral, and because of the indecent clothes and "high lift of the legs - higher than the belt line."

Maria Alekhina's lawyer, Nikolai Polozov, called the indictment "highly unprofessional."

"The evaluative judgments sow the seeds of the final degradation of the law enforcement system, the merging of church and state, and the beginning of a repressive, inquisitional approach that is inappropriate and contradicts not only federal laws and the constitution but also international conventions," Polozov told Gazeta.ru.

"We cannot talk about the justice here. This is a massacre. When I read the indictment, I had a feeling that the accused would be burned at stake."

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