HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
MOSCOW: Iceland’s singer-songwriter Bjork has expressed her support for three jailed members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot and suggested that they should be set free.
The Russian women, aged between 20 and 30, face up to seven years in prison if convicted on hooliganism charges over their February performance of a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral, calling for then-prime minister Vladimir Putin to quit.
“As a musician and a mother I would like to express I fiercely don’t agree with them being put to jail because of their peaceful protest performance,” Bjork wrote on her website on August 10.
“They are currently standing trial and facing seven years in prison for this. In my opinion, the Russian authorities should let them go home to their families and children.”
Bjork has also invited Pussy Riot to join her on stage to perform a song “which was written for all enhancement of justice”.
Bjork joins a line-up of foreign pro-Pussy Riot celebrities, which has grown to include cultural heavyweights like Madonna, Sting, Red Hot Chilly Peppers, film director Terry Gilliam, songwriter Peter Gabriel, and actor Danny DeVito.
The Pussy Riot case has split the Russian society, with some saying the punishment should be harsh and others saying the women only committed an ethical wrongdoing, which should not be punished by imprisonment.
The widely-publicised trial of Pussy Riot members ended on August 8 in Moscow. The defendants admitted that their performance was an “ethical mistake”, but pleaded not guilty to charges of hooliganism. The verdict will be announced on August 17.
Putin has criticised Pussy Riot for their performance but said the punishment should not be “too harsh”.