While Friday’s sentencing in Russia of three members of a punk rock protest outfit was a travesty of justice–the girls were each give two-year prison terms–it also exposed the Putin regime’s thuggish tactics to a broader audience, making it more difficult for apologists to gloss over the government’s oppression. As Seth noted, Pussy Riot’s treatment is being condemned by celebrities, who may be politically clueless but can still bring a lot of much-needed attention to the issue.
The regime’s response to protesters after the sentencing has only invited more global outrage. Human Rights Foundation chairman Garry Kasparov, a prominent chess champion and activist, was reportedly beaten severely by Russian police outside the courthouse where the sentencing took place today.
“If anyone had any doubts about the despotic nature of Russia’s regime, the arrest and violence used against someone simply standing outside a courthouse perfectly illustrates the dire situation in that country today,