Russian Punk Band Gets 2 Years In Prison
"A Russian judge on Friday found three members of a feminist punk band guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and sentenced them each to two years in prison after they staged an anti-Kremlin protest in a church.""Supporters of the members of the band Pussy Riot, who stormed the altar of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in February wearing bright ski masks, tights and short skirts to hold a "punk prayer" for Russia to get rid of President Vladimir Putin, have portrayed the case as a test of the tolerance of dissent in today's Russia."Read the rest here.Two years seems a bit stiff to my mind. But I think it is important to recall that what they did was deliberate sacrilege in a church. In any jurisdiction that I know of they would have been arrested and thrown in the clink. This blog has been, and remains a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin's increasingly authoritarian regime. But these women are not the angelic martyrs that the left is making them out to be.Should the Russian Orthodox Church have forgiven them? Yes, and shame on them for failing to do so. But a court of law is not a church. Their job is to maintain some element of order in society. My approach would have been to sentence them to time served and some particularly unpleasant form of community service coupled with a reminder that it gets very cold in Siberia in case they were ever tempted to re-offend. But Russia has always been a bit more of a law and order country. My understanding of things suggests that this sentence, while a tad harsh by our reckoning, is not exceptional for the offense by Russian standards.It is also worth recalling that Russians are very sensitive to attacks on the church. Millions of Russians were sent to slave labor camps or just murdered outright for their religious beliefs under the Communist regime. This is something that we have no concept of in our enlightened liberal world. There are mass graves all over Russia filled with people whose only crime was their faith. Incitement to religious hatred has a very different meaning for these people.Syndicated by Atom