August 15, 2012

SHOW TRIALS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO SHOW UP THE REGIME:

Pussy Riot's stunning victory over Putin's bureaucrats : Russia's crackdown on punk group Pussy Riot has handed Vladimir Putin's opponents a victory and begun a new phase in Russian politics (John Lough, 8/14/12, The Telegraph)

A guilty verdict is an almost foregone conclusion since acquittals by Russian courts are virtually unheard of. In 92 per cent of the 178 cases overseen by Judge Syrova, the defendants have been found guilty. The question, therefore, is whether the women will receive a suspended sentence or a jail term. The prosecutor is calling for them to be jailed for three years.

However, what is more interesting than the outcome is how the Russian system set out to punish three young punk anarchists, and ended up playing into their hands by making their case a Dreyfus affair at home and a cause célèbre abroad.

This is a result far beyond the wildest dreams of a hitherto marginal group of activists

The Putin system has made a PR catastrophe out of a situation that could have been easily contained with an administrative fine for a public order offence.

Posted by at August 15, 2012 9:07 AM
  

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