Good news yesterday – Ecuador granted political asylum to foe of tyranny Julian Assange.
Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been jailed for two years after staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral.
Judge Marina Syrova convicted the women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, saying they had “crudely undermined social order”.
The women say the protest, in February, was directed at the Russian Orthodox Church leader’s support for Mr Putin.
The closely watched trial has inflamed opinion both at home and abroad.
Prosecutors had been seeking a three-year jail sentence for the women.
Judge Syrova said Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, had offended the feelings of Orthodox believers and shown a “complete lack of respect”.
“Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Samutsevich committed hooliganism – in other words, a grave violation of public order,” she said.
David Dayen wrote about the courtroom verdict here, this morning:
Activists massed outside the courtroom, chanting “Freedom to Political Prisoners.” Police made arrests of the protesters, including chess champion and former Presidential candidate Gary Kasparov. Russian opposition leader Sergey Udaltsov was detained as well. A number of solidarity protests have taken place across Europe today.
Here is a link to the protests scheduled for today across the globe: Free Pussy Riot!
There are solidarity protests and events planned in 64 communities worldwide, including six in the USA: Chicago, Minneapolis, New York City, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, DC. The closest demonstration to where I live will be held in Murmansk.
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