Pussy Riot linked to Russian murders after group's name found written in blood at crime scene

Pussy Riot linked to Russian murders after group's name found written in blood at crime scene

Feminist punk collective Pussy Riot has been linked to a murder, after a message in support of the group was found scrawled at a crime scene over the weekend. The slogan “Free! Pussy Riot”—which was written in English and "presumably" in blood, though that hasn't yet been confirmed—was discovered on the wall near two slain women in the Russian city of Kazan. Pro-Kremlin publicists have naturally latched onto the story, saying that this is indicative of the group’s dangerous radicalism, while some Russian newspapers ran with headlines saying the double homicide had been "inspired" or even "committed" by supporters of the group. (One pro-Putin blogger has already compared them to Charlie Manson.) Pussy Riot backers, meanwhile, say it’s all just a ploy by the killer to throw off police, with the band's attorney telling the Interfax news agency, "I am sorry that some freaks are using Pussy Riot's band name."

All three main members of Pussy Riot— Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich—were sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month on charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” following a brief, unsanctioned performance criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral. The arrests and subsequent verdict have caused an uproar among the country’s anti-Putin protesters, fellow artists, and human rights organizations around the world. Earlier this week, Amnesty International and the current owners of the CBGB name, Tim Hayes and Louise Parnassa, delivered a letter of support for the imprisoned trio to the prosecutors’ office in Moscow. The letter contained more than 100,000 signatures, including Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel, Anthony Bourdain, Hole’s Patty Schemel, Cheap Trick’s Bun E. Carlos, and the family of the late Joey Ramone.

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