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Pussy Riot-like justice around the world

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Aug. 21, 2012, 8:09 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

In this Friday, Aug. 17, 2012 file photo, feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova show the court's verdict as they sit in a glass cage at a courtroom in Moscow. The two-year prison sentence handed down to Pussy Riot for a provocative protest inside a Moscow cathedral called attention to just how hard President Vladimir Putin is clamping down on minor displays of dissent. But Russia isn’t the only country where people are punished for offenses that many in the West might consider trivial.
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

MOSCOW — The two-year prison sentence handed down to punk rock band Pussy Riot for a provocative protest inside a Moscow cathedral called attention to just how hard President Vladimir Putin is clamping down on minor displays of dissent. 

But Russia isn't the only country where people are punished for offenses that many in the West might consider trivial. People can spend years in prison for insulting the king in Thailand, slaughtering cattle without government permission in Cuba, selling land to Israelis in the West Bank and having gay sex in Ethiopia. A British man was sent to jail for stealing a bottle of water.

While blasphemy is considered a serious crime in much of the Muslim world, a Christian girl in Pakistan has been arrested after furious neighbors accused her of burning pages of the Quran.

Here's a look around the world at crime and punishment:

SINGAPORE

Vandalism is punishable in Singapore by prison terms and three to eight strokes of the cane, delivered on the buttocks with a thick rattan stick that leaves lifelong scars. In 2010, Swish national Oliver Fricker pleaded guilty to trespassing into a subway train depot and creating graffiti on a car. He got seven months in jail and three strokes of the cane.

Singapore also is famous for the ban it imposed on chewing gum in 1992. Violations carry a fine of several hundred dollars, although no one has been convicted in recent years.

THAILAND

Thailand has some of the harshest lese majeste laws in the world, mandating a jail term of three to five years for defaming, insulting or threatening the king. Among those who have run afoul of the law is Joe Gordon, a Thai-born American sentenced to two and a half years in prison for translating a banned biography about the Thai king and posting it online. He was freed in July by a royal pardon. Amphon Tangnoppakul was not so fortunate. He died in prison in May at age 62, less than a year into a 20-year sentence for sending four defamatory textmessages.

ZIMBABWE

Zimbabweans are routinely arrested and fined for insulting President Robert Mugabe under sweeping security laws that prohibit citizens from "undermining the authority of the president." A salesman was held in jail from April to July after being found with satirical cartoons of Mugabe on his mobile phone, including one depicting a naked, skeletal Mugabe sitting on his haunches. His case was eventually dropped on a legal technicality.

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INDONESIA

Last year, a Muslim mob stormed a courthouse on Java and set three churches on fire to protest what they called a lenient sentence for a Christian convicted of blaspheming Islam. Antonius Richmond Bawengan was found guilty of distributing Christian books and leaflets that "spread hatred about Islam" and was sentenced to five years in prison, the maximum term.

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MOROCCO

In May, a court in Morocco convicted rapper Mouad Belghouat of attacking the image of the security services in a song about police corruption and sentenced him to a year in prison. His defense team claims the case is a political attack on the pro-democracy activist.

LEBANON

In Lebanon, considered to be one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, insulting religions or sects can lead to a prison sentence of up to three years, a law designed to protect co-existence in a country with 18 religious sects. Insulting the president also is punishable by up to three years in prison, and a couple of years ago three people were arrested for slandering the president in Facebook postings. They received jail sentences, but were released after a few months.

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

Anyone defaming or vilifying a president, minister, lawmaker or other high official faces up to three years in prison. Journalists and bloggers have been detained for weeks under the law, including one blogger who cursed President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook. Her case was dropped due to public pressure just before trial.

The Palestinians also have tough laws when it comes to dealing with Israel. Since the Palestinian Authority was established two decades ago, 140 people have been charged with selling West Bank land to Israel, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Palestinian officials said it was unknown how many of them were convicted.

SAUDI ARABIA

Women can face arrest for driving and trying to travel abroad without the permission of their husband or male guardian. Unrelated men and woman can risk arrest for mingling in private or public.

One other rather unique rule in effect throughout much of the Gulf makes bouncing checks a criminal offense, punishable by jail time and/or deportation.

PAKISTAN

People convicted of insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad can be sentenced to death in Pakistan. Human rights activists complain the blasphemy laws are widely misused to persecute Christians or settle scores in the mostly Muslim country. A Christian girl was arrested last week after hundreds of angry people gathered outside her house in Islamabad and demanded that police investigate reports that she had burned pages of the Islamic holy book, the Quran.

ETHIOPIA

Homosexual acts carry severe penalties in many African countries, including in Ethiopia where those convicted of gay sex can face 10 years in prison.

CUBA

Some nonpolitical crimes carry surprisingly stiff penalties in Cuba. Farmers who slaughter their own cattle without permission from the government face potential prison terms of four to 10 years, while transporting, selling or even purchasing such beef also can land someone in jail.

In January, six people were given eight- and 10-year sentences for cutting down nine mahogany trees in a botanical reserve.

UNITED STATES

Tough federal drug laws have mandatory minimum five-year prison terms and up to $5 million in fines for first offense trafficking, and life imprisonment and up to $20 million in fines for third offenses.

The three-strikes laws helped send a California man to prison for 25 years to life for possession of about $10 worth of methamphetamine. His first two convictions were for burglary. Shane Taylor's sentence was appealed to California's Supreme Court.

BRITAIN

And then there is Nicolas Robinson, who drew a six-month jail sentence for stealing a water bottle from a London supermarket during the public disorder that swept the country last summer. Even tougher sentences were handed down to Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan for trying to organize riots on Facebook; both received four years in jail despite the fact that no one showed up, aside from police. Judges said the sentences were necessary in the context of the violent unrest.


 

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Jenn Smith Aug. 21, 2012, 1:22 p.m.    

PUSSY ROT

Hear, hear, come and read this. I dare you to respond, you corrupt, NGO paid rich kids.

Desecrating a building, the Moscow church, which stands as a memorial to the genocide of 62 million Russian Christians during Communism, Marxism, is tantamount to desecrating any building representing the survivors of genocide.

Committing violence against that Moscow church was the same as if they had committed violence at Auschwtiz or Dachau buildings as some people have been saying.

They, Pussy Rot, committed the Human Rights violation. They should be serving 10 years in prison for their inhumanity.

They attacked Christians in Russia, a people who have suffered the worst genocide in human history. There is no genocide that compares to Lenin's Marxist USSR murder of 60 million Russian and Ukrainian Christians.

Some education is warranted:

GULAG PART 6v
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6Z1peXoAsA

GULAG PART 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjdn_CuGNjs

GULAG PART 8v
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqfV0XCySZU

GULAG PART 9 1v
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d35s179KwEo

After you watch these GULAG videos, then come and tell me here, that the "victims" were the insensitive criminals who desecrated the place of the survivors of GENOCIDE.

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AL BALA Aug. 21, 2012, 5:38 p.m.    

Dear (kremlinoid) Jenn Smith,

Gee ?

Based on your silly comment, it appears that you have not even read what they stated.

Sincerely,

LES

PS

Why are Moskali afraid to tell the Russian children the truth ?

http://www.kyivpost.com/content/russia-and-former-soviet-union/n1-magazine-pussy-riot-closing-statements-311746.html

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Jenn Smith Aug. 21, 2012, 10:38 p.m.    

NWO Apparatchiks, honest. Talentless, who only want money. Like the common neutered eunuch of Rome,

Academics with advanced history backgrounds can easily see that Pussy Rot are apparatchiks. The typical de-gendered, Lesbian or gay, eunuchs of any empire in history.

Apparatchik eunuched pussy rot, the neo-marxist glory girls, held up as the de-gendering of the target population.

Agents of Genocide are pussy rots.
Denigrating the survivors of genocide, Christian genocide of the USSR.

GULAG 2v
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSwtmFr8th0

We've all seen this before, yet the young pussy rots think their ride is unique.

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AL BALA Aug. 21, 2012, 11:41 p.m.    

claimed that Christ the Savior Cathedral had become a tax haven for a variety of for-profit businesses.

In previous court filings, the watchdog group noted that only 7% of the Cathedral space was used for religious purposes, the other 93% being used for a dizzying array of businesses, including a scientific research center, an employment agency, an auto body shop, political consulting agency, and a seafood market.

http://nftu.net/watchdog-group-nominates-patr-kirill-for-nobel-prize-in-economics/

!!

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AL BALA Aug. 22, 2012, 12:10 p.m.    

claimed that Christ the Savior Cathedral had become a tax haven for a variety of for-profit businesses.

In previous court filings, the watchdog group noted that only 7% of the Cathedral space was used for religious purposes, the other 93% being used for a dizzying array of businesses, including a scientific research center, an employment agency, an auto body shop, political consulting agency, and a seafood market.

http://nftu.net/watchdog-group-nominates-patr-kirill-for-nobel-prize-in-economics/

!!

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Russell Cunning Aug. 22, 2012, 3:17 a.m.    

Nobod ever mentions the fact that these three modestly talented performers have gained world-wide notariety by their violaton of a church. Why the focus on their criticsm of Putin? They could have performed the same song elsewhere without penalty. They could have been criticising US's Obama in the church and would still have faced the same penalty.
This is nothing more than blatant publicising. The photo of them after receiving their sentence shows how pleased they are with the outcome - free publicity for mediocre talent! Now they have two years to improve their singing.

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Саша Левко Aug. 22, 2012, 10:33 a.m.    

I agree with your comments and also believe that their actions were entirely self serving. I watched and listened to the judge summing up the evidence after the court and unless everyone that gave evidence lied the so called protest song against President Putin was a great deal different when presented on the internet. I suspect we will see and hear similar outrageous claims with the idiotic girl that has used a chainsaw to fell a cross in Kiev. She claims it an act of protest, (heaven knows her mindset), I call it vandalism. It will be interesting to see if any of those that attended to film the event and take interviews face any charges given that they obviously knew in advance that it was intended to carry out this act and did nothing to prevent it taking place. I hope they will be held accountable.

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AL BALA Aug. 22, 2012, 12:23 p.m.    

Gee ?

Two more kremlinoid sock-puppets making comments on KP !

I guess that praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Church is a "sin" in the Moscow KGB "church" ?

And, for the "sin" of praying in the Moscow KGB "church" - the savage uncivilized pagan barbarians in the Kremlin will send Russian Intelligentzia to the Gulags again !

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