They celebrated Putin’s 68th birthday on 7 October by attaching rainbow flags to five important government buildings in Moscow. The gifted, queer leader of the country does not seem to have liked the gesture: At least four members of Pussy Riot have been arrested – another has now been sentenced to 30 days in prison.

“We chose rainbow flags as our gift to Putin as a symbol of missing love and freedom.”

 

Russia’s Supreme Court, the Russian Presidential Administration, the police station in the Basmanny district, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Ministry of Culture – five of Russia’s most important buildings were decorated with rainbow flags by the queer feminist activists* on the occasion of the President’s cradle day. This powerful action now has consequences.

 

First, it became known that a journalist who had reported on the action had been arrested. In the meantime it is known that at least four members of Pussy Riot have also been arrested. Maria Aljochina was brutally taken away by officials on Thursday shortly after her arrival at a liberal Moscow TV station where she was supposed to talk about the campaign, and dragged into an unmarked delivery van parked outside. Veronika “Nika” Nikulschina was also arrested that evening.

 

Two other activists* of the collective, Vasily Andrianov and Elisabeth Diderich, have since been released on parole. Flats of other members of Pussy Riot involved in the action were visited by the police, including the flat of Sascha Sofeyev.

On the evening of 9 October, Pussy Riot announced on Facebook that Sofeyev had been sentenced by a district court to 30 days in prison. He is accused of having repeatedly violated the right of assembly, according to one of his lawyers. The action on Putin’s birthday was considered an unauthorised protest. Sofejew wants to appeal.

 

our dear friend, brother and a vital part of Pussy Riot Sasha Sofeev was just sentenced for 30 days in jail for our…

Gepostet von PussyRiot am Freitag, 9. Oktober 2020

 

Pussy Riot called on all supporters to show solidarity for the activist under the hashtag #FreeSofeev. Rainbow flags are not a crime, the association said.

 

Pussy Riot demands investigations into the murders of queers in Chechnya

 

A gift with demands: After Pussy Riot had put up the rainbow flags, they published on Facebook a list of demands on Vladimir Putin to improve the life of the Russian queer community.

 

Pussy Riot congratulates Putin with his 68th birthday and puts up rainbow flags on 5 of the most important government…

Gepostet von PussyRiot am Mittwoch, 7. Oktober 2020

 

Among the seven demands are the introduction of civil partnerships and laws that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. One would not wish for anything else: Furthermore, the “gay propaganda law” should be abolished and Putin’s birthday should be declared a national LGBT+ holiday.

“The state should not interfere in the life of the LGBTQ community. But if it does, the community can interfere in the life of the state.”

They also called on Putin to refrain from the planned arrest of gay fathers in Russia and to launch a full investigation into the murders and abductions of queers in Chechnya. Ramzan Kadyrov, who is responsible for the blatant human rights violations in the Russian republic in the North Caucasus, is considered an important ally of Putin. Most recently, he is alleged to have forced a teenager who had criticised him online to self-rape on camera.

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  • pussyriot3: By Screenshot YouTube / Screenshot Facebook, PussyRiot

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