Editorial: the cruel word "freedom"
11.10.12 11:22 By Gazeta.ru editorial
Yekaterina Samutsevich Photo: RIA "Novosti"
On Wednesday Moscow city court heard an appeal against the verdict for the three Pussy Riot band members who were sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for hooliganism on religious motives. The judge has surprisingly changed the sentence for one of the women, Ekaterina Samutsevich, and suspended it. She was freed in the courtroom and left the court building shortly after. The court, however, upheld the sentences for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina.
Instead of being happy for Samutsevich, many social network users have started to blame her for betrayal.
Demanding Samutsevich to make her sentence is a worse than the very verdict and the sentence to Pussy Riot.
Samutsevich has not pleaded guilty or repented. She is facing a suspended sentence now. For the next two years she will have to obey certain rules, and if she breaks any, she would be again sentenced to a prison term.
Samutsevich got a suspended sentence because she was caught by the guards of Cathedral of Crist the Savior before she got on to the altar stage. She did not participate in the punk-prayer.
Soon there will be lots of people who would wonder why the sentence for Samutsevich was changed. Especially after Putin's interview on one state-run TV channel in which he commented on the Pussy Riot verdict saying "they got what they deserved."
It would be certainly more beneficial for authorities if the women publicly repented, and more beneficial if they would split. And there is no doubt that the freeing of one of Pussy Riot women puts even more pressure on those who are left in prison.
Besides, the authorities did not admit a judicial error, and did not annul the verdict, nor did it send the case for retrial. It just lightened the sentence for one of the convicted women.
There are many possible reasons for the authorities to make such a decision. But accusing Yekaterina Samutsevich of dicrediting the opposition campaign in support of the Pussy Riot, is just strange.
If Russia gets new violent authorities insead of the current leader then nothing will change there. And just for the sake of human feelings and respect, we should truly be happy for Samutsevich who was released from prison, safe and sound.
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