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SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily

Russia Bans “Extremist” Pussy Riot Footage

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By Craig Hubert | Even from prison, Pussy Riot continues to spark controversy. A Russian court ruled today that videos of the group protesting current President Vladimir Putin are “extremist” and should be banned from websites.  The court, based in Moscow, “said it had based its ruling on conclusions by a panel of experts who studied the video,” according to Reuters. The videos, which include the group’s “punk prayer” at a Russian Orthodox cathedral, “has elements of extremism; in particular there are words and actions which humiliate various social groups based on their religion,” Judge Marina Musimovich said, adding that the footage also had calls for mutiny and “mass disorder.”

“Websites that do not remove the Pussy Riot videos will face administrative penalties, including fines up to 100,000 rubles ($3,000),” according to The Atlantic. Yekaterina “Katya” Samutsevich, the only member of Pussy Riot to be released on a suspended sentence, told journalists outside the courthouse that she would appeal the decision. Earlier this week, the court ruled against Samutsevich taking part in the hearings.

The two currently imprisoned members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were transferred from a Moscow prison to separate prison colonies last month. Then, a week ago, Alyokhina was transferred to solitary confinement, citing “strained relations” with her fellow inmates.

Watch one of the banned videos below, as well as an interview with Samutsevich outside the courthouse:

Image: Pussy Riot/Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images

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