Dmitry Medvedev has called for the three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, recently sentenced to a two-year prison term by the Russian government for an anti-Putin protest in Moscow’s main Russian Orthodox Church, to be set free.

Medvedev was “sickened by what they did, by their looks, by the hysteria that followed what had happened,” he said in televised comments. But continued incarceration would be “unproductive,” he added.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Medvedev – who forwent seeking a second term as president to allow his mentor, Putin, a free run – has long sought to portray himself as a liberal reformer. As president, he had vowed to reform Russia’s culture of “legal nihilism,” building on his career as a lawyer. Yet critics of the government note that his numerous statements on various legal cases – including the need to fully investigate the death in custody of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky – have yielded no results. He ceded the presidency in May to Putin amid unprecedented anti-government protests.

“Medvedev has already spoken about several criminal cases and we know what the results have been,” said Nikolai Polozov, a lawyer for Pussy Riot. “I agree with what he said – that they should be let out. But considering all the other awful propaganda against our clients, it seems his voice will not be heard. This is an attempt to save face.”

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