Former Polish president plans to persuade Putin to free Pussy Riot
MOSCOW, September 7 – RAPSI. Former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Wałęsa intends to persuade President Vladimir Putin to free the three Pussy Riot punk band members convicted for the “punk prayer” they performed in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral, reports Izvestia daily.
On February 21, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas stood at the altar and performed a protest song entitled, "Holy Sh*t." Shortly thereafter, an edited video of their performance was uploaded online and incited a public outcry.
Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich have been convicted of disorderly conduct and were sentenced to two years in prison on August 17.
In accordance with the law, the sentence has not yet taken effect.
Wałęsa announced on Polish radio that he would be writing a letter to Putin. He said that Pussy Riot had the right to perform their song, but chose the wrong place to do so. He also added that he found their actions “tasteless”.
“Of course the girls should not have been punished in this way. At the same time, I strongly believe that they should not have made use of something sacred, faith, for political motives,” he added.
Wałęsa does not expect a reply to his letter, but hopes that after reading it Putin will think on the band members’ conviction.
Madonna, Sting, Bjork, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elijah Wood and other celebrities have expressed their support for Pussy Riot.
Meanwhile, Putin has said he has no intention to interfere in the Pussy Riot proceedings. In an interview with Russia Today TV channel, he called their “punk prayer” a “witches' Sabbath” and added: “I know what’s going on with Pussy Riot, but I am not getting involved.”