Friday, August 17, 2012

Garry Kasparov and the Pussy Riot trial (updated 24 August 2012)

Latest News:
From The Telegraph (24 August 2012):
"Former world chess champion turned Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov was cleared on Friday of taking part in an unsanctioned protest over the conviction of punk band Pussy Riot in a rare Moscow court ruling in his favour".

Introduction to a YouTube video "Garry Kasparov statement after acquittal" (full English transcript appears alongside the video):
"Garry Kasparov speaks to the media outside a Moscow courtroom on Aug 24, 2012 after his acquittal on charges of participating in an illegal protest outside the Pussy Riot trial on Aug 17. This is perhaps the first time in Putin's Russia for a court not to accept police statements at face value. Police statements were demonstrated to be false by a huge amount of witness testimony and video evidence."

Original Story:
I have been following the Pussy Riot trial and, as I write this, the judge is summing up the prosecution case. According to his Facebook page, Garry Kasparov has just been arrested and beaten by the police (photo credit: Olaf Koens).

Two early reports from the FB page:

"Garry Kasparov has just been arrested outside the Moscow courthouse where the Pussy Riot trial is taking place. He was not there to protest, simply to attend, and the police cornered him and dragged him into the police van. This photo shows the police assaulting him inside the van. We hope he is all right and we will provide updates when we have them. (Photo by Olaf Koens here: )"

"We just spoke to Garry on the phone. He is at the police station. He was beaten but says he is okay. He isn't sure what will happen next. It seems the police are waiting for orders from above. He says he was standing calmly speaking with journalists when police pushed through and grabbed him. Thanks to everyone for the support."

Stop Press:
The three Pussy Riot ladies (see photo below) have been jailed for two years. Video coverage of the incident is at the BBC site (1) - their sentencing in court is at BBC site (2).

Yekaterina Samutsevich (29), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (22), and Maria Alyokhina (24).


More on the background to the case can be found here

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