The US State Department reacted to the Pussy Riot verdict by saying the sentences were “disproportionate.” The American stance on the issue is hypocritical, as Washington regularly casts a blind eye on controversial sentences, activist Don DeBar told RT.
Shortly after a Russian judge sentenced three Pussy Riot members to two years in prison for performing a “punk prayer” at Moscow's most prominent cathedral, the State Department issued a statement, saying it was “concerned” about the negative impact the verdict could have on freedom of expression in Russia.
“We urge Russian authorities to review this case and ensure that the right to freedom of expression is upheld,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
The British Foreign Office also reacted harshly to the ruling.
“I am deeply concerned by the sentencing of three members of the band Pussy Riot, which can only be considered a disproportionate response to an expression of political belief,” Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt stated, adding that he was also perturbed by reports of the conditions of detention and the conduct of the trial.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said she was “disappointed” with the verdict and also called the sentence “disproportionate.”