Pussy Riot on the run: Criminal case launched against other ‘punk prayer’ participants

Screenshot from YouTube video / A K Smith

A new criminal case was launched into two Pussy Riot members who escaped police after participating in an infamous ‘punk prayer’ in Moscow’s main cathedral. The announcement comes days after their co-participants were sentenced to two years in jail.

“We have launched a separate criminal case against the unknown members of the ‘Pussy Riot’ band, and are seeking to establish their identities,” a police spokesperson told the Interfax news agency.

Five members of Pussy Riot performed a ‘punk prayer’ in Christ the Savior Cathedral in February, and video of the event was later posted on YouTube. Two of the participants escaped detection, while the other three were identified at the scene.

On August 17, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina were found guilty of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,’ and sentenced to two years each in a medium-security prison.

The women’s defense team has said they will appeal the verdict and push for a full acquittal.

The controversial case has triggered a wave of criticism, with governments criticizing the verdict as “disproportionate” and rallies in support of Pussy Riot taking place all over the world.

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