Pussy Riot members jailed for two years for hooliganism:
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.This story is getting lots of attention, and deservedly so. It's an absolute disgrace. The idea that a nonviolent protest at a place of worship is "dangerous" but punishing protesters with a two-year sentence at a penal colony is responsible and reasonable jurisprudence is truly chilling.
Judge Marina Syrova convicted the women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, saying they had "crudely undermined social order".
...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.
...The judge then took three hours to read the verdict, before handing down "two years deprivation of liberty in a penal colony" for each defendant.
"Considering the nature and degree of the danger posed by what was done, the defendants' correction is possible only through an actual punishment," she said.
One man in the courtroom shouted "shame" at the sentencing, and there were chants and whistles from the band's supporters outside.
Tolokonnikova's husband, Pyotr Verzilov, said: "Russia's image was quite scary even before [this]. What happened now is a clear sign that Russia is moving towards becoming more like China or North Korea."
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny added: "They are in jail because it is Putin's personal revenge. This verdict was written by Vladimir Putin."
The defendants' lawyer, Nikolai Polozov, said they would not appeal to President Putin for a pardon. However, there will be a legal appeal against the verdict.
Amnesty International said the ruling was a "bitter blow" for freedom of expression in Russia.
Getting less attention today: Gay parades banned in Moscow for 100 years. "Moscow's top court has upheld a ban on gay pride marches in the Russian capital for the next 100 years. ... The Moscow city government argues that the gay parade would risk causing public disorder and that most Muscovites do not support such an event."
Prevention of "public disorder," or, as we call it in the States, "disturbing the peace," is a great euphemism for all manner of tyrannical attempts to squash progress, isn't it?