Rosbalt posted arrant shit (yet again) on the Pussy Riot case (Stetson picked it up, but labelled it unreliable). It’s like Portal-Credo.ru (here’s some info on Roman Lunkin, the nutter behind Portal-Credo) and Civil Georgia… many see them as Langley-financed running dogs (I agree with that assessment), who post mostly white propaganda (which is truthful as far as it goes, but it never goes far enough), along with some outrageous black propaganda. Nevertheless, these sites are a “must read”, for they tell you the Langley “party line” of the moment. For instance, it’s why Orthodox people should attend to Potapov, Mattingly, Dreher, Reardon, Paffhausen, and Webster; they toe the Republican Party line blindly, thoughtlessly, and unswervingly (indeed, they’re modern analogues of “Stalinist” cadres), so, they can tell you the latest about that lot… fancy that. Some of the intel on these sites is legit, just “spun” in a pro-American direction. In any case, Rosbalt just lost its registration in October, so, it may not be long for this world… good riddance to bad rubbish…
Jailed Pussy Riot members seem eligible for release under the terms of an amnesty that the RF Gosduma debated on Tuesday. The amnesty, to mark the 20th anniversary of the current Russian Constitution, applies to people serving sentences of up to five years for non-violent crimes, who haven’t previously served prison time. On Tuesday, Vladimir Lukin, RF Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the amnesty would apply to as many as 22,000 people. Mariya Alyokhina, 25, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, are serving two-year terms for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for taking part in Pussy Riot’s brief “punk prayer” protest against President Vladimir Putin at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow in 2012. Their conviction caused a stir amongst human rights groups both at home and abroad.
The text of the amnesty conditions published on the RF Gosduma official website specifically lists mothers of underage children as being eligible for amnesty. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova each have a child aged under seven. The text of the amnesty, presented to the RF Gosduma by Putin for consideration, excludes those who “deliberately violated the established terms of their punishment”, although it wasn’t immediately clear what would constitute such violations. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, who deny their guilt, both received reprimands whilst imprisoned that judges cited in repeated rejections of parole appeals. Both women have release dates of March 2014.
Dmitri Vyatkin, deputy chairman of the RF Gosduma constitutional legislation committee, said that the authorities would consider each case on an individual basis. Vyatkin told RIA-Novosti, “People might not agree to be amnestied, if, for example, they don’t consider themselves guilty”. The publication of the conditions for amnesty shed light on the fate of several other high-profile prisoners or people facing charges in Russia. The 30 people from 18 countries arrested by Russian authorities on board a Greenpeace ship after a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic in September are also eligible for pardon. They faced charges of hooliganism and now await trial in St Petersburg. Former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, charged with negligence amidst a scandal over the misuse of state funds, is also eligible for amnesty.
However, the amnesty won’t apply to all non-violent crimes. Opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, who got a suspended sentence this summer for large-scale theft in what critics said was a politically-motivated case, won’t see his conviction erased under the amnesty. Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, a former Defence Ministry property department head charged over the illegal sale of government property, faces trial for crimes including large-scale fraud and money laundering, which aren’t included under the terms of the amnesty.
On Tuesday, the RF Supreme Court referred an appeal by three members of Pussy Riot against their prison sentence back to a Moscow court. On its website, the court said that it referred the case involving Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich to the Presidium of the Moscow City Court, a panel of judges tasked with reviewing sentences already in force. The women received two-year sentences to a general-level correctional colony in 2012 after being convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, for staging a “punk prayer” in Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow’s, against Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency. Their imprisonment caused an international stir. Later, Samutsevich left prison on probation after appeal, but Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova now serve out their sentences, due for release next March. The Moscow City Court rejected an appeal against their sentences on 29 May. The defence team then appealed that ruling to the RF Supreme Court. Alyokhina, 25, and Tolokonnikova, 23, could be eligible for release under a proposed amnesty that the RF Gosduma began to consider Tuesday. The amnesty is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the current Russian Constitution. The amnesty includes a provision for mothers of young children. Both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova have children under the age of seven.
10/11 December 2013