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Prison administration reprimands 2 Pussy Riot activists

May 04, 2012, 11:29 UTC+3

Under the law, a reprimand - if they get a prison term - will lose them the chance for parole

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MOSCOW, May 4 (Itar-Tass) — The remand ward administration reprimanded Nadezha Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich - the suspected participants in the so-called "punk prayer" at the Christ the Savior Church, staged by the Pussy Riot art group, a lawyer told Itar-Tass.

The reprimand has been attached to their cases, Samutsevich's lawyer Violetta Volkova said. Tolokonnikova was rebuked for keeping a sheet of paper with private notes and Samutsevich for improper bed-making.

Under the law, a reprimand - if they get a prison term - will lose them the chance for parole.

"The persons kept in a remand prison can spend their time in different ways: some write service documents, some make personal notes, and some might write a book in order to publish it. I do not understand why the remand ward administration decided that Tolokonnikova's sheet of paper with personal notes was illegitimate," Volkova said, adding that after the holidays, both reprimands would be appealed against.

According to the lawyer, investigators are deliberately setting Samutsevich's cellmates against her, in order to put pressure on the young woman. "Katya refuses to cooperate with the investigators, and the investigators are trying to put pressure on her through her cellmates," Volkova said.

The relations between the cellmates at present are quite tense, but "even," she added.

Earlier, Moscow's Taganka court granted the investigator's petition to extend custody of Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Samutsevich to June 24. The court also extended the period of preliminary investigation into the case.

On May 11, the Moscow City Court will review the legitimacy of custody extension.

On February 21, five masked young women in brightly colored clothes appeared in the Christ the Savior Church, ran onto the ambo before the altar and performed an indecent song for several minutes using the amplifiers they had brought along. They also shouted insults against the clergy and believers, as well as against the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.

They ignored the rebukes by the church attendants and believers, and fled as guards tried to detain them.

Police opened a criminal case under Article 21, Part 2 of Russia’s Criminal Code /hooliganism/ which envisions a penalty of up to seven years.

The young women denied their involvement in the church prank.

The Pussy Riot punk group later claimed responsibility. It placed on its page on Live Journal photos and a video recording of the action. The Punk Group earlier staged a similar action in Red Square. 

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