Free Pussy Riot, Free Russia

To the EU Presidency, and the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Parliament:

As concerned citizens from around the world, we call on you to take urgent steps to adopt an EU-wide travel ban and a freeze on the financial assets of all those believed to be guilty of the torture and death of the Russian anti-corruption lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, as well as of covering up the case. In the wake of the Pussy Riot verdict, and with Russia steadily slipping into the grip of a new autocracy, we count on you to use your position as Russia's strategic partner to defend democracy and the rule of law.
 
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Posted: 23 August  2012
Facing 2 years in jail for singing a song criticizing President Putin in a church, a member of Pussy Riot gestured to the court and said in her show-trial's closing statements, "Despite the fact that we are physically here, we are freer than everyone sitting across from us ... We can say anything we want.."

Russia is steadily slipping into the grip of a new autocracy -- clamping down on public protest, allegedly rigging elections, intimidating media, banning gay rights parades for 100 years, and even beating critics like chess master Garry Kasparov. But many Russian citizens remain defiant, and Pussy Riot's eloquent bravery has galvanized the world’s solidarity. Now, our best chance to prove to Putin there is a price to pay for this repression lies with Europe.

The European Parliament is calling for an assets freeze and travel ban on Putin’s powerful inner circle who are accused of multiple crimes. Our community is spread across every corner of the world -- if we can push the Europeans to act, it will not only hit Putin's circle hard, as many bank and have homes in Europe, but also counter his anti-Western propaganda, showing him that the whole world is willing to stand up for a free Russia. Sign the petition on the right and tell everyone.

photo credit: Reuters

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