Review of Pussy Riot Verdicts Ordered by Russia’s Supreme Court

Photo via Rolling Stone.

A review of the guilty sentences for Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been ordered by Russia’s Supreme Court, according to an Agence France-Presse story.

The two women are currently serving two-year sentences in Russian prisons after being convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for performing an anti-Kremlin protest stunt in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

Agence France-Presse reports:

With just three months remaining in their sentence, the Supreme Court ruled that the “hatred” was never proven and their status as young mothers of underage children was ignored.

“The court did not provide any proof that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were motivated by hatred toward any social group in its verdict,” the Supreme Court said in a decision posted on its official website.

The lower court also failed to review “extenuating circumstances”, namely the fact that Alyokhina’s son is only six years old and Tolokonnikova’s daughter is five, it said.

The court also ignored that the pair had no prior convictions, the “non-violent nature of their illegal actions” and the fact that victims of their actions never wanted to punish them so harshly, the document said.

For more on this story, head here.

Both women are to be released in March 2014. However they could be released sooner do to an amnesty that Russian President Putin has submitted to the Russian parliament, or if the review of their verdicts finds that they are not guilty.

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About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael recently completed his first novel, Days of the Crazy-Wild, and is currently writing a second novel.

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