NOVISIBIRSK, June 25 – RAPSI. Siberian artist Artyom Loskutov, who was found guilty and fined for displaying icons in defense of the Pussy Riot punk band, appealed against the court's decision, RIA Novosti reported on Monday.
Information about Loskutov's icon-style posters displayed on Novosibirsk billboards spread quickly after he placed them on the Internet.
One poster shows a haloed mother and a child, with the woman wearing a Pussy Riot-style stocking as a mask. The mayor's office said the ads were placed unlawfully.
Three administrative cases on insulting citizens’ religious beliefs have been initiated against Loskutov. He was found guilty in two cases and fined 1,000 rubles ($30.2).
The charges were withdrawn against him in the third case due to a lack of evidence.
Loskutov claims he is innocent. He said he did not make the posters to offend anyone, but rather he stands for shared values.
The Pussy Riot punk rock group of five masked female punks stood near an icon at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on February 21 and performed a "protest prayer" at the altar.
Their lyrics included lines such as, "Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin, Chase Putin Out!"
A video of their performance was posted online and evoked a massive public outcry.
Three suspects have been arrested and charged with hooliganism.They face up to seven years in prison.
Meanwhile, PACE head Jean-Claude Mignon said the Pussy Riot case should be resolved as soon as possible. Russia is a large country and if it decides to join the Council of Europe, it should meet all of its criteria, he said during a news conference on Monday while replying to journalists’ requests to comment on the case.