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Russian justice
23 August, 2012

In a previous article an attempt was made to summarize the proceedings that were taking place in Moscow’s Khamovnicheski court house where three young women, Ms. Tolokonnikova, Ms. Samutsevich and Ms. Alyokhina were being judged for a forty second performance inside a Christian Orthodox church.

I chose to describe the proceedings as a badly written ‘absurdist play’ and it seems that only one online news outlet in Moscow agreed with me.

The defence wasn’t allowed to call their witnesses, the prosecuti

on relied on speculations of people who weren’t even at the performance but viewed it on Youtube later. The treatment of the defendants while in custody was ridiculous and no one seemed to care. Shockingly enough, excuse my sarcasm, everyone else in the Russian press was unable to see anything strange in the proceedings or the verdict that has the three young ladies locked up in prison for two years, minus the six months they have been in jail already. All this because, as the main character in the play judge Ms.Syrova, has deemed it appropriate to refuse any actual facts into her courtroom to muddy the waters of rigorous defence of religion that preaches tolerance and forgiveness. She accused the defendants of religious hatred and declared that women had psychological disorders and on top of that, they were feminists.  Interestingly enough the defendants tried and tried to explain that on the contrary they are themselves Orthodox Christians who believe in God and that it was their belief that had them questioning the church’s bootlicking of a secular president.  The fact that this performance was a political one escapes no one, at least not in the foreign press, yet at home the Christian Orthodox church and the masses that claim to be of the same faith have asked for strict punishments for ‘offending their morals’. One pop star known to evoke emotional breakdowns on stage during her performances, menaced that if the three women had performed in a mosque, they would have been killed already. Which is neither here nor there, because the women were not commenting on the Muslim community’s shady embrace of the current Russian president, but on Kirill I, the head of Russian Christian Orthodox Church, proclaiming that it was God’s will for Putin to rule Russia. Someone really should ask patriarch Kirill I, what did God’s voice sound like when he told him this piece of information? But that again, is neither here nor there. The rule of separation of Church and State is there for a reason, but in Russia, as this most recent debacle has proven, there are no rules. If anything the drama and the verdict have shown to the rest of the free world and anyone who was still under illusion there was any democracy in Russia that rules apply only to those who are not with Putin. This isn’t anything earth shattering to anyone who has followed any of the news cycles coming out of Russia, people went to jail for no reason other than that someone wanted it that way, but it used to be at least a little hushed up. With this verdict they proved that they no longer need to have even the illusion of pretence, they will jail anyone and everyone for anything and everything, and no one, no one, will be able to do anything about it. In Russia, it is back to the good old Communist dictatorship, except now instead of destroying religion they chose the more lucrative approach and they use it to their advantage. Progress in Russia? What a joke!

 

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