MOSCOW, June 27 – RAPSI. More than a hundred Russian celebrities, well-known artists and authors among them, have come together to sign an appeal on behalf of Pussy Riot female punk group members. The petition demands their release and a dismissal of their case, the Moskovskij Komsomolets newspaper reports.
Several signatories filed the petition with the Supreme Court and with the Moscow City Court on Tuesday. Petition signatures will continue to be collected at the Echo of Moscow radio station’s website.
The group of five masked women performed a protest song titled, "Holy Sh*t," at the altar of the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
The lyrics included lines such as, "Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin, Chase Putin Out!"
The video was posted online and evoked a massive public outcry.
Pussy Riot said their performance was in response to Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill's backing of then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s election bid. Putin won a landslide victory in the March 4 election. The patriarch called the 12 years of Putin's rule a "miracle of God" at a televised meeting.
Group members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested. They are accused of disorderly conduct and face up to seven years in prison.
On June 20 the Moscow Tagansky District Court extended the custody of Pussy Riot members.
The appeal reads that its signatories “have different opinions of the incident’s ethical aspect”, but their conduct does not amount to a crime and the case should be stopped or the criminal charge should be replaced by administrative.
“We hold that the criminal case against Pussy Riot compromises the Russian judiciary and undermines confidence in the authorities in general,” reads the appeal.