Nina Hagen: ″Mercy for Pussy Riot″ | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 29.07.2012
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Nina Hagen: "Mercy for Pussy Riot"

German punk singer Nina Hagen has appealed to the Russian government to show "mercy" to members of punk band Pussy Riot. The three women stand trial in Moscow on Monday on charges of hooliganism.

DW: The trial against three members of the Russian punk band "Pussy Riot" begins on Monday in Moscow. They face up to seven years in prison for their "punk prayer" at a cathedral in February, in a controversial protest against current President Vladimir Putin. What do you think of this?

Nina Hagen: I would like to appeal to the Russian government and also my Orthodox brothers and sisters to show mercy. These are very young, crazy people who went too far and provoked a lot of people because of what they did in the church. They almost certainly won't do anything silly like this again. Hopefully they have learned a lot from it, and I hope Russia will show us its big heart. That's what I'm appealing for and praying for.

Human rights organization Amnesty International uses the term "political prisoners." Is that how you see it?

Nothing is as bad as it seems. Of course I am pleased that Amnesty International is making sure no human rights are violated. But I'm still appealing to the Christian heart of Russia. The Russians should show mercy and charity. Let them show us what makes them Christian, namely forgiveness. I hope these girls are freed.

Masked members of Pussy Riot feminist punk group protest inside Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior

Three Pussy Riot members are set to stand trial on Monday over their controversial protest

Have you seen the video that was shot at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow? Because of this protest, the three women from Pussy Riot have been charged with hooliganism.

Yes, I've seen the video. I laughed so hard. I thought it was so adorable, because they were such young musicians there, thinking now let's protest against all of this. I don't know, we were all young once.

Have you had problems with the church because of your actions?

No, I have never done anything pornographic or obscene.

But you sing in the church yourself…

Yes, quite often. We did a church tour.

If you had the chance to talk to the three women from Pussy Riot, what would you say to them?

I would hug them, would tell them to have courage, tell them about my near-death experience when I was 17. I was a wild child in East Berlin, my heart was badly broken. My boyfriend cheated on me. I was a candidate for suicide. But then my Christian aunts and siblings gave me strength. That's what I would do for Pussy Riot. Maybe I would have my guitar with me, so we could have a jam session right away and write a song together.

Author: Roman Goncharenko / jlw
Editor: Simon Bone

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