Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Russian prosecutors ask for 3 years in punk protester case

MOSCOW — Prosecutors on Tuesday called for three-year sentences for feminist punk rockers who gave an impromptu performance in Moscow's main cathedral to call for an end to Vladimir Putin's rule.

Some Russians say the three women deserve to be punished for desecrating the Russian Orthodox Church and offending believers. Others say they are being punished for their political beliefs. The women, in their 20s, said their goal was to express resentment over the church's open support for Putin.

The February performance was part of the movement that has come under increasing pressure since Putin won a third presidential term in March.

Prosecutors portrayed the proposed three-year sentences for the women as lenient, since the hooliganism charges they face carry a maximum sentence of seven years.

Putin said last week that the punishment should not be "too severe," triggering speculation that the Kremlin was hoping to resolve the case without appearing weak or causing further anger on either side.

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