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Court finds Pussy Riot videos extremist and restricts access to them

November 29, 2012, 12:58 UTC+3

Access was restricted to practically all the punk group's videos, including the notorious punk prayer at the Christ the Savior Church

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MOSCOW, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow's Zamoskvorechye court on Thursday ruled that Pussy Riot videos were extremist and restricted access to them. The court thereby met the prosecutor's petition.

Access was restricted to practically all the punk group's videos, including the notorious punk prayer at the Christ the Savior Church, which made groundwork for criminal prosecution of three Pussy Riot activists.

During preliminary hearings, Judge Marina Musimovich refused to recognize Yekaterina Samutsevich, a Pussy Riot activist, "an interested person" in the case. After hearing the parties' arguments, judge Marina Musimovich said there were no grounds to meet Samutsevich's petition.

In her statement, the Pussy Riot activist claimed that if the court recognized the video as extremist she could face criminal prosecution under penal code Article 282 /"inciting hate or strife"/, because investigators regarded her as one of the producers of the video in question. In her opinion, the court's refusal to acknowledge that she was an interested person violated her rights.

Answering the judge's question, Samutsevich explained that she had nothing to do with the making or placing the video on the Internet.

When making the decision, the judge took into account the statement by police that "the involvement of Yekaterina Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina in making and placing the video titled "Mother of God, Drive Putin Away" on the Internet has not been ascertained."

The prosecutor said the court's refusal to grant Samutsevich's petition would not violate her rights or interests, as the verdict by the Khamovniki court which had found her guilty of hooliganism for the punk prayer, had already come into effect.

On August 17, Moscow's Khamovniki court found three Pussy Riot members - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich - guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hate and strife for their action in the Church. Each was sentenced to two years in a general regime penitentiary. The court said the defendants' action was not politically motivated although the young women had claimed to the contrary.

On October 10, the Moscow City Court softened the punishment for Samutsevich by giving her a suspended sentence. If left the sentences for her two colleagues unchanged.

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