Pussy Riot members to remain in custody
A Moscow court on Monday upheld a previous ruling which extended the remand in custody of three young women, one who has a small child, until 24 July. The three women - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samusevich – are accused of taking part in a protest in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow at the end of February. Five women wearing balaclava masks entered a part of the Cathedral which is not on open access and staged a “punk prayer” which was later circulated on the Internet. Amnesty International says that their song called on the Virgin Mary to save them from Putin.
The women have been on hunger strike demanding their release from custody.
Their defence lawyer has demanded the withdrawal of both the judge and prosecutor over Monday’s ruling, Violetta Volkova sad that the court was demonstrating its bias, and that the prosecutor’s words were not confirmed by any case material or documentary evidence. False claims were made that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova did not have registration, though there is evidence to the contrary in the file material, she said.