House Republicans Defend Russians For Jailing Pussy Riot

May 30, 2013

From Think Progress:

Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Steve King (R-IA), along with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), were visiting Moscow on Sunday to discuss Russian intelligence on the Boston Marathon bombing. During a press conference, Cohen raised questions about Russia’s respect for human rights, particularly with respect to Pussy Riot, the feminist band jailed for playing a “punk prayer” in a Russian Orthodox church to protest the Putin government’s human rights record and the church’s close ties with the state. Cohen, echoing human rights advocates, argued that a two-year sentence for speaking out against government abuses was an overharsh result of an unfair trial.

Rohrabacher disagreed, but King went further. King, who recently attempted to “prove” America was a Christian nation, celebrated Russia’s crackdown. “If anyone came into my church … and did that, it would be difficult for me to stand up and say they had a human right to do that,” King said. The lawmaker suggested that the church “had been desecrated by those riots,” perhaps being unaware that Pussy Riot is the name of the band, not the activity they were jailed for (which was performing a song).

Keep reading here.