Moscow City Court enforce immediate ban of clip

The video footage of Pussy Riot‘s ‘punk prayer’ in a Moscow cathedral has been banned in Russia, according to reports.

The Associated Press says that Moscow City Court has rejected an appeal from the band’s Yekaterina Samutsevich and instead enforced a ban on the video, instructing internet providers that it must be blocked.

The ban was enforced under Russia’s ‘extremism’ law. Although the rules were introduced to target neo-Nazi and terrorist groups, it has also been used in the past against cartoon South Park and Scientologists. Any internet providers who do allow access to the clip could be faced with a $3,000 fine if they fail to block it.

Samutsevich, who was given a suspended sentence on appeal last year, said that the decision amounted to censorship and insisted that she planned on fighting it.

Earlier this month (January 16), it was reported that Maria Alekhina, another imprisoned member of the band, had been denied an appeal. She was was for a deferral of her two-year prison sentence on the grounds that she has a five-year-old son to look after, but Berezniki City Court said her situation was already taken into account when the sentence was decided upon.

Earlier this week Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, a documentary about the band, won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in the US. The documentary, directed by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin, tells the tale of the three Pussy Riot members, who were arrested in March 2012, and the subsequent court case which saw them imprisoned for hooliganism following their protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin.