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MOSCOW, December 24 – RAPSI. The Moscow City Court will set the date for consideration of an appeal against the ruling banning the Pussy Riot prayer videos later, the court’s spokesperson told the Russian Legal Information Agency.
The court was expected to hold a hearing on Monday, but it was adjourned without reasoning. It was noted the period to appeal against the ruling has not expired yet.
A Moscow judge held on November 29 that a video montage that spread across the Internet like wildfire of Pussy Riot's now infamous punk rock prayer qualifies as extremist material, thus upholding prosecutors' efforts to have the footage banned in Russia.
The video in question is a montage of the girls' performance of their punk rock protest song from the altar of Christ the Savior Cathedral in central Moscow shortly before the March 2012 presidential elections which were to return prime minister Putin back to the presidency. Dancing around raucously in brightly colored balaclavas and mini-dresses, and executing a series of high kicks, the Pussy Riot members shouted requests to the Virgin Mary to "chase Putin out." The video was posted online and evoked a massive public outcry.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested shortly after the performance. The three were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred in August and sentenced to two years in prison each. On appeal, a judge converted Samutsevich’s sentence to time served with immediate release after her new attorney argued that she had been detained by church security before reaching the stage, and that she thus had not participated in the punk rock prayer.
Freed Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich appealed the verdict declaring a video montage of Pussy Riot’s punk rock prayer extremist, despite not being a party to the case.
Samutsevich tried to join the proceedings as an interested party when prosecutors initially filed for the video’s prohibition. The court rejected her request, however, noting that her interests weren’t sufficiently at stake pending the outcome. As she was not joined as a party to the case, it is likely that her appeal will not be entertained due to her lack of standing.