21 August 2014
Moscow: 18:02
London: 15:02

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

15.08.2014 - Fighting ISIS only in Iraq is like extinguishing only half of a fire (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

British politicians and media are expressing their concern over the advance of terrorist Islamic State forces in Iraq and stress the need to counter this threat. The atrocities by Islamic radicals deserve the most strongest condemnation. The events in Iraq are another confirmation that terrorism is an absolute evil, and all responsible members of the international community should engage in coordinated efforts, rejecting any double standards.


13.08.2014 - HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN UKRAINE: TIME TO ACT (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

The humanitarian situation in South-East Ukraine continues to detoriorate, which requires an urgent international action.


13.08.2014 - Libya: time to unite international efforts (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

We are seriously concerned with the drastically degrading situation in Libya.


13.08.2014 - Risks for Russian-Ukrainian economic relations (by Ambassador Yakovenko)

There has been much speculation lately about the reasons for Russia’s negative stance on the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine.


11.08.2014 - INTERMEDIATE-RANGE NUCLEAR FORCES TREATY: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

The issue of the implementation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has recently been thrust into the focus of international attention.


05.08.2014 - Russia Champions Secure Space (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space remains one of the key objectives of the Russian diplomacy.


30.07.2014 - Briefing by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, for representatives of foreign and Russian mass media Moscow, 28 July 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen, There have been a lot of addresses from representatives of Russian and foreign mass media, which are accredited in Moscow, lately, all of them asking for an interview.


25.07.2014 - Press Secretary of the Russian Embassy on the article in «Daily Mirror»

The Embassy has noticed the article «Vladimir Putin's daughter flees £2million Dutch penthouse flat as fury grows over jet tragedy»


22.07.2014 - Speech of the Russian Ambassador A.Yakovenko at the Ceremony of awarding Ushakov medal to Arctic convoy veterans (22 July 2014)

Dear veterans of the Arctic convoys, Dear friends, Malaysian airliner tragedy occurred a few days ago. Among those who died were 10 Britons. Russia was the first to call for an impartial international investigation. Yesterday UN Security Council passed a resolution to that effect. Please, observe a minute of silence for those who died.


22.07.2014 - MH17 crash must be subject to an impartial international investigation (by Alexander Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Russia was the first to call for an impartial and transparent international investigation of the crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin as well as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have voiced this position on more than a dozen occasions over the past four days.



all messages