Russian official singing Pussy Riot’s song?

Russia's human rights commissioner thinks Pussy Riot was "silly," not criminal

Kate Lieb By Kate Lieb

Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights commissioner, makes a point. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

The Russian protest band Pussy Riot has received massive support outside the country from Madonna and to Boston punk rockers. Now it’s finally getting some love from inside the Kremlin, via Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights commissioner.

The group caught the world’s attention when three of its members were tried for “hooliganism.” They’d disrupted a service in Moscow’s largest cathedral with a punk prayer for the downfall of Vladimir Putin. The trial was a media sensation. Everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Paul McCartney to Boston teen punk bands did what they could to show their solidarity with the three women.

Lukin says he wants to see Pussy Riot’s two-year jail sentence commuted. He tells Russian state agency RIA Novosti, “if the sentence stays as is, the ombudsman has the right to appeal it at higher levels, which I will consider.”

Lukin believes what the punk rock group did was not a criminal offense, but rather “an administrative misdemeanor.” He hopes a higher court will take a closer look at the case.

That’s not to say Lukin is a fan of their actions.

“I consider it tactless and silly,” he said to RIA Novosti.