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The Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow found extremist a video with a scandalous escapade of the Pussy Riot punk band at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral on Thursday. After the verdict enters into force the video will be put on the blacklist of the Justice Ministry and criminal responsibility will be envisaged for the distribution of the video. The Russian Orthodox Church was satisfied with the court verdict. The human rights activists are convinced that the detectives can bring new accusations against the members of the punk band and bring to justice their associates.
Speaking at a court session, the prosecutor asked to find the videos extremist and restrict the access to them, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported. The inquiry was conducted over the distribution of the videos in the internet, he said. The detectives found that the video materials with the escapades of the punk group were posted at some information resources. The prosecutor’s office believes that the free access to these videos can contribute to the instigation of hatred, interethnic and interreligious strife and encroach on the rights of people. The public prosecutor added that according to the psychological and linguistic expertise, the videos contain apparently extremist materials that are banned under the Russian legislation. The court ruled to restrict the access to the websites, on which these videos can be watched. The court verdict noted that the access will be primarily restricted to the Pussy Riot internet resource and the blog of the Pussy Riot activists in the LiveJournal.
“If the video is put on the list of the Justice Ministry, major file hosting resources like YouTube will delete it, but the video will be distributed actively in the social networks all the same. Respectively, this will make it possible for the detectives to open criminal cases not only against the Pussy Riot activists, but also against ordinary users,” lawyer Damir Gainutdinov, who represents the interests of Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich, told the Kommersant daily. According to Samutsevich’s friend, political activist Yaroslav Nikitenko, the associates of the punk band can also be subject to criminal persecution. “Anyone can be involved in the making and distribution of the video. I recall that the journalists, whom the Orthodox community also urged to bring to justice, also attended the protesting action. Now it is quite real,” he claimed.
The Russian Orthodox Church estimated positively the court verdict, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. Head of the Synodal department for relations between the Church and the society Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin noted that “many similar texts and the video content were put on the federal list of extremist materials, and this video was put on this list quite adequately.” The court has passed the correct ruling, because before “much less insulting and hostile texts against other religious groups were found extremist,” he said. Chaplin noted that the extremism law should have effect in all cases, when “insulting and hostile words to some group of people and the terms, symbols and personalities significant to them are voiced.”
Those who want to familiarise with the Pussy Riot activities in the internet have an opportunity to do it all the same, according to the experts, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. “The video hostings, which contain these videos, will be probably ordered to delete them. In theory, the state officials should do it, but they neglect the procedure in practice,” SUP-media media director Anton Nosik commented on the court verdict in his blog. However, he noted that the Russian video hosting Rutube already began deleting hastily the materials, which are related with Pussy Riot. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s statement, in which he mentioned the persecuted punk band, turned out to be among the deleted materials, no matter how strange it sounds.