France, Germany concerned over Pussy Riot trial
MOSCOW, August 8 - RAPSI. The French and the German authorities have officially expressed their concern over the Pussy Riot punk rock group's trial in the Khamovnichesky District Court.
The statements of concern were made by the German government and the French parliament.
On February 21, five girls wearing brightly colored masks stormed the altar of downtown Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral to perform a protest song entitled, "Holy Sh*t." A video with their performance was posted on the Internet and incited a public uproar.
Group members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich have remained in pretrial detention since their arrest in early March after an incident that some have lauded as a valid exercise of free speech, and others have lambasted as blasphemous.
On Wednesday, they made their final statement. Their sentence will be announced on August 17.
"The federal government is convinced that Russia can modernize over a continuous time period only with an open and versatile society," German Deputy Spokesman Georg Streiter said.
Additionally, 121 deputies from all of Germany's parliamentary factions sent a joint letter of support for the Pussy Riot band members to Russian Ambassador in Germany Vladimir Grinin.
France also supports Germany's stance regarding Pussy Riot's trial.
"We share the concern regarding the detention terms and the course of the trial against the group's members," Deputy Foreign Minister Vincent Floreani said. "France's human rights ambassador has had a telephone conversation with the group's attorney."