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Pussy Riot video 'extremist', rules Moscow court

Posted on Nov 29, 05:20PM | IANS

A Moscow court Thursday ruled that a video by punk group Pussy Riot was extremist, paving the way for it to be banned from the Russian internet.

Prosecutors argued the video, which featured five members of the group dancing at the altar of Moscow's Christ the Savior cathedral and singing a "punk prayer" against President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill II, instigated social disorder and was offensive to Russia's Orthodox Christian population.

Russian internet providers will be required to block access to the video once the three-day appeal period expires. Under Russian law, providers who host forbidden content are subject to criminal prosecution.

Three Pussy Riot members -- Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich -- were jailed shortly after the incident in February 2012 and sentenced in August to two years in prison for hooliganism for their performance.

The trial made international headlines and sparked criticism of the Putin administration from civil rights activists and foreign governments, on one hand, and support from outraged social conservatives, on the other.

Samutsevich was released in October after a court ruled she had not technically participated in the action.

Prosecutors took up the case on the request of State Duma lawmaker Alexander Starovoitov, from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.