Russia fines ‘Pussy Riot’ activists for hanging rainbow flags

Russian courts on Monday fined two punk groups “Pussy Riot“activists for hanging rainbow flags last month on President Vladimir Putin ‘s birthday in Moscow near several government buildings.

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On October 7, when Putin was 68 years old, activists of the Kremlin-critical punk group hoisted LGBT flags at the Supreme Court, the Federal Security Service and other state buildings in Moscow.

On Monday, two Moscow courts fined activists Maria Alohin and Veronica Nikulsina 15,000 and 10,000 rubles (166 and 111 euros), respectively, for lawyers, lawyer Sergei Telnov said.

“We will definitely appeal these sentences to Moscow, and if they do not overturn them, to the European Court of Human Rights,” the lawyer said, adding that the activists had been accused of violating the laws on mass rallies.

“Unfortunately, these judgments are no longer surprising,” he added, noting that they violate the freedoms of expression and assembly protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Alohin and Niklushkin are the last in a series of activists convicted of participating in Putin’s birthday campaign.

Last month, Alexander Sofeyev was sentenced to 30 days in prison and Vasily Krestyaninov was fined 15,000 rubles.

On October 7, members of the Pussy Riot staged an action against homophobia in Moscow and hoisted rainbow flags at several government buildings.

As activists explained, it was an action against “state homophobia”.

“Today we give this rainbow as a symbol of the lack of love and freedom – we give it to everyone.” The rainbow is the sun after the rain, “you said. But we are the ones who do everything to make this sun finally appear,” campaign participants.

“Pussy Riot” gives concerts abroad, and the band has caused a wide resonance with its radical actions.

In 2012, three members of the group were sentenced to prison after protesting at the Moscow Orthodox Cathedral.

The Russian government has been condemned in the international arena for inciting hatred against sexual minorities.

Pussy Riot has criticized the country for interfering in the lives of members of the LGBT community.

The group has called on the government and Putin personally to protect people by law from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender.

The abduction of gays, lesbians and transgender people in Chechnya must be investigated, the group demands, but the law banning “homosexual propaganda” must be repealed.

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