Singer begs president to reduce the trio's sentence to house arrest
Sinead O’Connor has written a letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin calling for the band’s release.
Three members of the Russian feminist punk collective received two-year prison sentences on August 17 after being found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. They were arrested in February after they staged a flashmob style performance at Moscow’s Church Of Christ The Saviour, protesting against the Orthodox Christian church’s support of president Vladimir Putin.
In an open letter to Putin posted on Rolling Stone, O’Conner writes: “I am someone who had direct experience, as you may have yourself, of what I choose to call The Holy Spirit. And I don’t just believe but I KNOW that all people, from kings to presidents to singers to anyone, are intrinsically good in their souls. Except those who knowingly hurt children.”
She then goes on to say that while she doesn’t get involved in politics, she wants to plead with him to reduce Pussy Riot’s sentence to house arrest for the benefit of their children.
“These children who have lost their mothers, Sir, they don’t care about politics, or the band above mentioned, Sir, or hurting anyone,” she writes. “They love their mummies. And you need them to grow up loving their country. And they are going to suffer intolerable agony for the rest of their lives if they can’t have their mummies back as soon as possible.”
She adds: “No president has ever been brave enough to say the word “love” or “forgive.” You never hear any politician say “love.” Nor even the priests half the time. Please say it, Sir. Even just to yourself. Say “forgive.” And let these children have their mums at home on house arrest immediately while the other legal issues are pending.”
O’Connor’s letter will be hand-delivered to the Kremlin on September 24.
Meanwhile other members of Pussy riot are continuing their campaign, posting a film thanking people for their support and promising that they will continue their fight. We’ve been fighting for the right to sing, to think, to criticise,” they said in a video which you can watch below. “To be musicians and artists ready to do everything to change our country. No matter the risks, we go on with our musical fight in Russia”.