• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 10:40pm

Big-name Pussy Riot backers jump on Putin's judo jaunt

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:58pm
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has flown into a storm of Olympic proportions as he arrived in London to watch his favourite sport, judo, on the sidelines of a diplomatic free-for-all with his British counterpart David Cameron, including talRs on Syria.

A letter appearing in The Times and signed by a number of famous musicians such as The Who guitarist Pete Townshend and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, has urged Putin to give Russian punk band Pussy Riot a fair trial.

You might think that a band with such a name had been caught performing a dastardly deed but the crime of the three-girl band was to wear balaclavas and stage an impromptu performance at a largely empty cathedral in Moscow, calling on the Virgin Mary to remove Putin from power.

Their calls were not heard and only the Russian police arrived. Pussy Riot have been charged with 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred' and face seven years in jail.

With Syria threatening to descend further into bloody anarchy, that is expected to be top of the agenda when Cameron meets the Russian president, who has so far remained opposed to a United Nations resolution against Damascus.

Now the British musicians want their leader to go in to bat for Pussy Riot, too, when he engages in a bit of judo diplomacy. They said: 'Dissent is a right in any democracy and it is entirely disproportionate that they face seven years in jail for what we consider a preposterous charge.'

Cameron better tread carefully as Putin is a black belt and he won't see the funny side of anyone calling for him to be removed from the Kremlin.

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