Most Russians Deem 'Pussy Riot' Sentence FairWorld | August 30, 2012, Thursday // 18:26| views
Russian feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina (L), Yekaterina Samutsevich (C) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (R) sit in a glass-walled cage in a court room after the judge delivered the verdict at the Khamovnichesky Court in Moscow. EPA/B
More than a half of Russians believe sending three members of the punk group Pussy Riot to prison was a fair punishment, according to a survey by the Kremlin-connected pollster Public Opinion Foundation.
Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court on August 17 handed down two-year jail terms for Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Maria Alyokhina, 24, who in late February performed a "punk prayer" near the altar of Christ the Savior Cathedral urging the Virgin Mary to "drive out" Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
A total of 53 % of respondents said the court verdict was fair, while 27 % said it was unfair.
Most of those who support the sentence are people with low income (61 %) and aged 46 or older (60 %).
Those who see the sentence as unfair are mostly people with monthly income higher than 0 (55 %) and with higher education (34 %).
Ten % of respondents said an administrative punishment would be enough for the offense, eight % were in favor of a stricter sentence and four % said the sentence should have been milder. One % of respondents said Pussy Riot members deserved a corporal punishment.
Only seven % of Russians said they had a positive attitude towards Pussy Riot's "punk prayer," while 66 % said their attitude was negative.
The survey was conducted on August 25-26 among 1,500 respondents in 43 Russian regions.
Results of a similar survey conducted by the state-run VTsIOM pollster conducted during the same period show that 31 % of Russians see the sentence for Pussy Riot as fair, and 33 % believe it was too harsh.
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