25 October 2014
Moscow: 19:16
London: 16:16

Consular Section:  
+44(0) 203 668 7474   
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

24.08.2012

One more time about Pussy Riot rights

Many of those who read British press get a wrong impression that Pussy Riot band members were wrongfully detained and convicted for being against President Vladimir Putin. Regrettably, the majority of newspaper articles use wrong categories in reporting on this case. British media presents the topic under the banner of the freedom of speech and self-expression. In Russia, however, this matter is discussed as to whether there is a punishment for those who burst into the place of worship insulting the religious feelings of a considerable part of Russian citizens and debauch there.

According to a British journalist Simon Jenkins http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/21/west-hypocrisy-pussy-riot, who cites a Russian poll, only 5% of respondents do not think that the band deserves to be punished, while 65% believe that the band members must be jailed and 29% wish they were subject to community service. These data should not come as a surprise, for Russia is a country of 143 million people, 75% of whom identify themselves with the Orthodox Christianity. Russian Muslims, by the way, have not sympathised with Pussy Riot’s performance as well.

One will recall the outrage started by the Muhammad cartoons published in one of Danish newspapers. They were published not without a reason and were aimed at stirring anti-Islamic sentiment in the Western society at the time of the so-called “war on terror”. What was its result? Growth of xenophobic and extremist manifestations, which, by the way, might well be posing a threat to the European democracy itself, as for example is the case of Anders Breivik. This act by Pussy Riot is considered as a similar provocation against religion.

Let us recall that many countries’ laws provide punishment for the insult of feelings of other citizens. Pussy Riot’s bravado is nothing new. In the recent past, such “performances” took place in European countries not without subsequent lawsuits. Just recently the Catholic Church of Germany has been reported to accuse followers of the Russian punk-band of disorderly behaviour at a religious service in Cologne. Under the German law, they might face a real prison sentence.

No one would dare to dispute decisions of court in Western countries. Russia’s judicial system is an independent branch too. The verdict to those who performed the “punk-prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was passed by court after a thorough consideration of all facts of the case in full compliance with the Russian law. It is very easy to give outsiders’ advice without knowing the details and even without trying to fully comprehend the matter. We doubt that the court, for example here in Great Britain, would take into consideration advice of those who, in effect, try to influence the course of justice.

An American lawyer Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: “Your liberty to swing your fist ends just where my nose begins”. We all remember how the Taliban destroyed Buddha statues in Afghanistan. The world was shocked and appalled. Let us recall the desecration of Muslim tombs in Northern Mali. Perhaps, it is too early to draw the line in the debate on the limits of self-expression. So this case is not about politics, played by the rules, but about insulting the religious feelings of fellow citizens which goes far beyond what any democracy allows, beyond civilized behavior pure and simple.




LATEST EVENTS

22.10.2014 - What Ambassador says in Foreign Office on ISIS (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Russia firmly supports the efforts of the Iraqi government to combat terrorism in all its aspects. It is necessary to unite the efforts of the country’s patriotic political movements and parties to confront the common threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group.


14.10.2014 - MGIMO, Happy Birthday! (by Ambassador Yakovenko)

On 14 October the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) marks its 70th anniversary. This academic institution, ever since its estabilishment, has been playing a key role in preparing officers for the Russian diplomatic service.


13.10.2014 - Can Bombs Ever Be a Substitute for Diplomacy? (by RIAC President, Professor of MGIMO-University Igor Ivanov)

The 19th-century German military theorist Carl von Clausewitz gave a classic definition of war as the "continuation of policy by other means." Considering the strategy of the West during various crises in recent years, it would seem that U.S. and European leaders have radically revised that idea and now view war not so much as a continuation of policy as they do an alternative to it.


09.10.2014 - Innopolis – Russia’s New IT-Capital? (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Information and communications technology (ICT) continues to be one of the most progressive and growth-generating sectors of the global economy. Such areas as mobile internet, e-payments, robotics and artificial intelligence, cloud technologies fascinate both consumers and developers, steadily becoming less of a sci-fi and more of a know-how.


07.10.2014 - The Caspian Summit: successful cooperation in the 'oasis of peace' (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

One of the biggest achievements of the Caspian Summit was the considerable progress made in preparing the Convention on the Caspian Sea legal status.


03.10.2014 - WHY THE VETO RIGHT IS SO IMPORTANT (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

There is an on-going discussion of the Security Council reform, including the issue of the veto right. The veto right, or the UN Charter’s requirement for the SC Permanent Members’ unanimity, remains the cornerstone of the UN system, which was created to guard peace and security after the Second World War.


01.10.2014 - Russian approach to international cooperation in climate issues (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Several days ago the UN climate summit was held in New York. It became another important step in the ongoing discussions of what is to be done to counter negative consequences of climate change.


30.09.2014 - Defeating terrorism through a comprehensive approach (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Combating ISIS, the Al-Nusrah Front and other terrorist cells that have long been growing in the Middle East, has now become a top international priority.


29.09.2014 - Russia in Global Nuclear Energy Market (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Within the context of the recent 58th IAEA General Conference held in Vienna it is worth making an overview of Russia’s position in this important and sophisticated global industry.


29.09.2014 - Rights of indigenous peoples within post-2015 Development Agenda (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

The international community is approaching a significant milestone in international development process – a new sustainable Development Agenda for the post-2015 period, which is being worked on. We consider it important to take into account, within its framework, the interests of all groups of society – not least those of indigenous peoples.



all messages