Russian PM Medvedev goes soft on Pussy Riot

Russsian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said further imprisonment for two members of the punk band Pussy Riot is excessive, but it is up to the court to decide on the issue.

Speaking during a meeting with winners of international educational competitions, Medvedev said: “This issue should be addressed not to me but to our courts and their lawyers. They are entitled to submit the relevant motions.”

The court is entitled to consider the issue on its merits, he said. “I said quite a while ago: I very much dislike these figures...But if I were a judge, I would not put them in prison. I do not think imprisonment the right kind of punishment for them, for these girls have already served some time, and it is really enough for them,” Medvedev said.

Five women from Pussy Riot performed in late February a “punk prayer” in downtown Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, which is Russia’s biggest Orthodox church.

An edited clip of the band’s protest posted online showed the group high-kicking near the entrance to the altar of the cathedral accompanied by the song “Holy S**t” urging the Virgin Mary to drive [Vladimir] Putin out. The song mocked Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and believers in insulting terms.

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