Protest punks to stay jailed untried for 11 months

The three jailed members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot will remain behind bars until January without trial.

A court yesterday refused their application for release on bail following their arrest in February on charges of hooliganism, which could result in a sentence of seven years if they’re tried and found guilty.

Musicians Nadya, Masha and Katya will have been in prison for 11 months if the hearing goes ahead next year.

They performed a song called Holy Shit at a Moscow Cathedral to highlight what they claim are immoral connections between the State-sponsored orthodox church and president Vladimir Putin, whose last election win has been mired in accusations of fraud.

Before their arrest the band said they knew they’d face severe punishment for their protest, saying: “We knew what the political situation was but now we’re feeling the full force of Putin’s Kafka-esque machine. The state’s policy is based on a minimum of critical thinking and a maximum of spite.”

Amnesty International say the band are political prisoners and have called for their release, with the support of over 100 high-profile Russian artists.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers played in Moscow on Sunday, where frontman Anthony Kiedis wore a Pussy Riot shirt to show his support. They presented a letter to the husband of one of the prisoners.

Franz Ferdinand mainman Alex Kapranos appealed personally to Putin, saying: “Any world leader who claims to be a fan of the Beatles and John Lennon, then attempts to imprison contemporary musicians who express political views, is the worst kind of hypocrite.”

Meanwhile, jailed Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe is still behind bars in Prague, even though his release was approved last week.

A court doubled his bail to $400,000 but it has been paid, and the latest delay is believed to be down to paperwork. It’s understood the prosecution have one more opportunity to protest against his release, but if they fail, he should finally be freed within three days.

Friday marks a month since he was arrested in connection with the death of fan Daniel Nosek, who’s thought to have passed away after sustaining a head injury when he attempted to invade the stage during a Lamb of God concert in 2010. Blythe has never been charged.

-Classic Rock Magazine

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