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Pussy Riot activist cannot appeal court's ruling acknowledging videos "extremist"

November 29, 2012, 15:59 UTC+3
Samutsevich appealed the judge's refusal to recognize her "an interested person" in the case. Judge Marina Musimovich had said there were no grounds to meet Samutsevich's petition
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MOSCOW, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich cannot appeal the court's ruling which acknowledged the punk group's videos extremist and restricted access to them.

"The Thursday ruling which named the videos by the Pussy Riot punk group "extremist" can only be appealed by the participants in the legal proceedings, i.e. Moscow prosecutors or the Ministry of Justice," Zamoskvorechye court spokeswoman Yevgenia Pazukhina said.

If not appealed, the ruling will come into effect in a month.

On Thursday, Judge Marina Musimovich announced the introductory and substantive parts of the court ruling. The statement of reasons will be presented to the parties later.

Pazukhina said the court had recognized as extremist and restricted access to four Pussy Riot videos placed on five Internet sites. These are the videos of the group’s action in the Lobnoye ancient place of execution in Moscow's Red Square, the action on rooftop of a Moscow detention center, the "capture" of a bus and the infamous punk prayer at the Christ the Savior Church, which made groundwork for a court action.

After the court's ruling comes into effect, the videos will be entered on the list of banned extremist materials whose dissemination is illegal.

Meanwhile, Samutsevich appealed the judge's refusal to recognize her "an interested person" in the case. Judge Marina Musimovich had said there were no grounds to meet Samutsevich's petition.

In her statement, filed on November 28, she asked the Moscow City Court to overturn the judge's resolution not to recognize her an interested person in the case," Pazukhina said. The date of review of the appeal has not been set yet.

Earlier, 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."

Speaking at the Thursday hearing, the prosecutor stated he was asking to restrict access to the information on the punk group's sites and its LiveJournal blogs.

According to the results of an expert examination and a psychological and linguistic study, these videos have extremist content.

The psychological and linguistic study certificate said Pussy Riot's texts call for riots, civil disobedience and organization of mass disturbances." Also, it claimed the Pussy Riot activists' statements were humiliating and hurt the believers' feelings.

The videos obviously show illegal actions by persons, the inciting of political and religious strife and extremist activity, according to the prosecutor.

After the Thursday hearing, Samutsevch said she regarded the ruling illegal and that she would appeal. If the authorities block access to the punk group's sites, "a mirror" might be created on a foreign stite. "We're thinking of how to do it," Samutsevich said, adding that Pussy Riot would continue its protest activities.

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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