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Pussy Riot Trial Verdict Postponed
Laurie Tuffrey , August 9th, 2012 07:03

Closing statement from band member: “This is a trial of the whole government system of Russia”; sign Amnesty International’s petition below

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The three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot on trial in Moscow have delivered their closing arguments in the case, telling the court: “This is a trial of the whole government system of Russia”.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (above), the member who made the statement, also said: "If this political system throws itself against three girls… it shows this political system is afraid of truth."

The verdict of the trial has been postponed to August 17, a delay which may give hope to the women being found innocent. Talking to the Guardian, the band’s lawyer Nikolai Polozov said that increasing international support may be putting pressure on the judge to acquit the defendants: “To take a quick decision under such pressure is very dangerous for the authorities, so they've taken a time out.”

Most recently, Madonna showed solidarity with the women, taking off her clothes to reveal the band’s name written on her back at her concert at Moscow’s Olimpisky Stadium this Tuesday. Yoko Ono, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand have all previously shown their support for the band. Yesterday, Peaches filmed a video for her own Pussy Riot protest song in Berlin, leading a crowd dressed in balaclavas and neon colours in chants of "we are all Pussy Riot!" The video is currently being edited and will be released on Monday - watch the site for more on this.

The women, Marina Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Tolokonnikova, were arrested in March after performing an anti-Putin ‘punk prayer’ in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. They face charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, with prosecutors pushing for a three-year sentence.

Referring to the prosecution, Tolokonnikova said: "Even though we are behind bars, we are freer than those people," adding, “[m]aybe they think it wouldn't be wrong to try us for speaking against Putin and his system, but they can't say that because it's been forbidden."

In her statement, Alyokhina stated: "I'm not scared of lies and fiction, or the badly formed deception that is the verdict of this so-called court. Because my words will live, thanks to openness. When thousands of people will read and watch this, this freedom will grow with every caring person who listens to us in this country."

Amnesty International are petitioning the Russian authorities to drop the charges against the women - to add your name, text ACTION7 and your full name to 88080.