Reykjavík Mayor Rallies For Pussy Riot

13.8.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
After featuring prominently in last weekend's Gay Pride parade dressed as a member of imprisoned Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot, Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr has called on the Icelandic government to put pressure on the Russian government to free the group.

Icelanders have shown keen interest in the trial of the band that has evoked international attention, after their performance and arrest in an Orthodox church in Russia last February, where they called upon the "mother of God" to remove Russian president Vladimir Putin from power. RÚV reports that Jón Gnarr can be counted among the Icelanders who oppose Pussy Riot's imprisonment.

As seen in the RÚV video, Jón Gnarr dressed as a member of the band while atop a float in last Saturday's Gay Pride parade, displaying a sign reading "Free Pussy Riot".

Jón has reported received a warm reception to the event, and went on to say that the Icelandic government should get involved. "The Icelandic government, as the representative of this country, one of the greatest human rights countries in the world, should of course use its position to bring attention to human rights, and protest this violation of human rights everywhere, at every opportunity."

Last month, protesters gathered at the Russian embassy, leading to one arrest. Iceland Airwaves directing manager Grímur Atlason has pledged to hold a punk rock concert outside of the Russian embassy and Russian Orthodox church every Thursday at noon, to voice disapproval for the continued detention of Pussy Riot. Amnesty Iceland is formally taking part in a global campaign against the Russian government being organised by Amnesty International.

Charged with "hooliganism" and facing up to seven years in prison, the arrest and trial of Pussy Riot has been condemned widely by the international community as politically motivated and anti-democratic.

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