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Russian court bans Pussy Riot web video

A RUSSIAN court has ruled that video footage of the Pussy Riot punk group protesting against president Vladimir Putin in a church was “extremist” and should be removed from 
websites.

The demonstration last February offended many Russian Orthodox Christians. But Putin has been criticised by US and European leaders over what they saw as disproportionate jail sentences imposed on three Pussy Riot members. Their trial was also seen by Putin’s critics as part of a clampdown on dissent.

The Moscow court yesterday said it had based its ruling on conclusions by a panel of experts who studied the video, showing band members in mini-skirts and ski masks dancing in front of the altar of Moscow’s main Russian Orthodox cathedral.

Judge Marina Musimovich said the footage “has elements of extremism; in particular there are words and actions which humiliate various social groups based on their religion”. She said it also had calls for mutiny and “mass disorder”.

The verdict said that free distribution of the video could ignite racial and religious hatred.

The court’s ruling applies to other videos released by the band, including a performance in Moscow’s Red Square, where calls for mass disorder could be heard.

 
 
 

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