Close up: Witch Hunt in Russia? - The Pussy Riot Case
Five members of the punk rock activists Pussy Riot sang an unauthorized "punk prayer" in a Moscow cathedral in February 2012, calling on the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Vladimir Putin and slamming the close ties between the Orthodox Church and the state. Two got away; three were detained without bail, tried and found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. Two of them are serving lengthy prison sentences. Their harsh treatment by the authorities has provoked international outrage. It appears to confirm fears that the Russian government will not tolerate criticism, dissent or opposition.