RPT-Russian court bans "extremist" Pussy Riot video

Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:00am EST

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MOSCOW Nov 29 (Reuters) - A Russian court ruled on Thursday that video footage of the Pussy Riot punk group protesting against President Vladimir Putin in a church was "extremist" and said it should be removed from websites.

The Moscow court said it had based its ruling on conclusions by a panel of experts who studied the footage, showing band members in colourful mini-skirts and ski masks dancing in front of the altar of Moscow's main Russian Orthodox cathedral.

Judge Marina Musimovich said the video "has elements of extremism, in particular there are words and actions which humiliate various social groups based on their religion".

Two of the band members, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, are serving a two-year jail sentence over the performance last February. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, had her sentence suspended on appeal.

The protest angered many Russian Orthodox Christians but Putin has been criticised by U.S. and European leaders over sentences they regard as disproportionate.

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