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Grigory Yavlinsky on the Pussy Riot case

Grigory Yavlinskys Live Journal

August 17, 2012

In my view, religious people can not accept use of churches as stages for political protest, but at the same time they do not want the girls - Nadia, Katya and Masha - be in prison. Both things are unacceptable.

I hope it is clear that it is improper to make acts of political protest, especially with dirty insults, not only in churches, but also, for example, in kindergartens, nursing homes or hospices. It is a pity that it took the girls almost six months to apologise for this before the Orthodox congregation.

Any religion - Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other religions, freedom of conscience and all the feelings associated with faith - must be inviolable.

Equally, the right to freedom of speech and expression of peaceful political protest should be respected. The political protest by Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich has in fact a very serious grounds. It is a protest against election fraud conducted so that to usurp power, against censorship in the media, lies and corruption, hypocrisy and injustice... The action by Pussy Riot was meant to be shocking so that to draw attention to a peaceful, non-violent protest. This performance was deliberately bold as of its form and at the same time extremely inappropriate as of its place, it served a warning to the authorities and the society that something was wrong in the country

Organizing the lawsuit in the form that we have the misfortune to watch, the authorities are aiming at intimidation.

This is not good for the country, and it is harmful to the Church. Intimidation is not the solution. Perhaps fear may drive the protest depthward for some time, but it will not disappear, and at some circumstances it will come to the surface in a much more radical forms that are more dangerous for the society. This may be compared with a fire in the peat fields which goes only depthwards when they are trying to put it out not correctly, and at hot weather it comes powerfully to the surface as even a greater fire.

From the legal point of view, the court should have determined whether the girls action had caused considerable harm to the society and whether their action had displayed the signs of public danger in the sense of a criminal law, and base their conclusions not on manipulative reasons.

Besides it should be noted that what they were chanting was within the frameworks of a usual protest rhetorics, however, there was a significant problem in where and in what manner it was done. In my opinion, the long term of imprisonment of the girls, forcing the atmosphere of unforgiveness and vengeance does much more harm to the Russian society than their outrage in the temple.

It's obvious that the punitive sentence will contain disrespect to a large part of the society and promote political and religious enmity and hatred in Russia.

I hope that a higher court will cancel the wrong verdict and the girls will be free. This would correspond to the interests of the country and the goals of the Church. This will be truly Christian.


See also:

Human rights

Yabloko condemns controversial Pussy Riot Trial. LI News Bulletin, Issue 294, August 2, 2012





Grigory Yavlinskys Live Journal

August 17, 2012

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