Legal Analysis Of The Pussy Riot Case

Alex Mercouris has penned a long and extremely erudite analysis of the case against Pussy Riot. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Go, read.

There are just a few things I would add:

(1) I think one of the closest historical analogues to this case in Anglo world is the 2 month imprisonment of Nicolas Walter for indecency at a Labour Party church service in Brighton for heckling Harold Wilson in 1966 for his support of the Vietnam War. (Imagine swapping those words for “United Russia church service in Sochi”…). Needless to say that “performance” was inestimably more directly political than than that of Pussy Riot.

(2) Re-Mercouris’ question on the precise wording of Article 213 on hooliganism, and whether using weapons is an integral part of it. Here is the text of the law along with my literal translation of the relevant part:

“Hooliganism… committed with: a) the usage of weapons, or objects used as weapons; b) on motives of political, ideological, racial, national, or religious hatred or enmity, or on motives of hatred or enmity towards some social group, – is punished by…”

I do not know if (a) and (b) here have an AND relation, or an OR relation to each other. As a lawyer however I hope Mercouris can furnish the answer to his own question now.

Edit 8/11: This question has been conclusively answered. It’s an “OR.”

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