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Pussy Riot activists go on a hunger strike

July 05, 2012, 12:19 UTC+3

The Pussy Riot activists will have to study seven volumes of case files before July 9

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MOSCOW, July 5 (Itar-Tass) - The Tagansky District Court of Moscow set a deadline for Pussy Riot members, who have been in custody already for six months, to study the case files. The Pussy Riot activists will have to study seven volumes of case files before July 9. According to some estimates, it turns out that the young women will have to spend two minutes for each page without taking into account the sleeping time. The Pussy Riot members went on a hunger strike in sign of protest.

A Pussy Riot lawyer Mark Feigin told the Novye Izvestia daily that the detectives and the lawyers initially agreed to study the case files before September 1. Three months will be enough for the lawyers and their clients to read 3,000 pages, making necessary extracts and remarks. Now the lawyers have read through only the first volume, Pussy Riot members – three volumes. The request to cut the deadlines, which was made public in late June, was caused by the intentions to sweep the case under the rug as quickly as possible and curb the upsurge of public discontent. “ “Mainly this is a response to an address in support of Pussy Riot that over 200 culture figures signed,” Feigin believes.

The Pussy Riot defenders addressed to the US authorities with the request to put in the list attached to the Magnitsky Act judge Natalia Konovalova, which denied all requests from the lawyers, the RBC daily reported. Despite the conclusions of the lawyers on the exposed facts of falsifications by the detectives and that they are not permitted to make copies of the documents in the criminal case, the judge remained uncompromising, agreeing to set the deadline for the study of the case files on July 9. The lawyers filed a request for recalling judge Natalia Konovalova, but at first coming out to study the demand, she gave a negative response, naming the request ‘groundless’.

Already in the court in sign of protest against the ruling of the judge Pussy Riot members, which face up to seven years in prison in case of a guilty verdict, went on an indefinite hunger strike. Lawyer Nikolai Polozov succeeded to compare the tactics with sharp cuts of the deadlines to study the trial against the former YUKOS CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

“We have some doubts that the judge is leading the trial to the guilty verdict. All our requests are rejected, even the conclusions in favour of such decisions are not offered. Anecdotic decisions of the judge make us ask the US authorities to put judge Konovalova on the Magnitsky list in case of its approval, because it deals not with the Magnitsky concrete case, but with violations of the human rights in general,” lawyer Mark Feigin said.

The Pussy Riot defenders began to meet at the court building from the beginning of the trial, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily noted. The most memorable action became a performance with the cage: right at the doors of the police remand car a cage with the metallic bars was placed with three people locked inside, including the former priest Roman Zaitsev. The cage was sizeable, and the bailiffs cannot understand how to put it in the police remand car. The cage bars were broken with cutting nippers. The activists were whistling, crying out and scattering the confetti and sweets. Some people were in masquerade masks, which they put on the face and removed quickly at the necessary moment. Over ten people were detained.

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