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Russian punks face video ban

MOSCOW: Russia has moved to ban videos by Pussy Riot punks as extremist after a court rejected a complaint by a freed member of the band, paving the way for the possible blocking of websites.

The judge at the Moscow City Court decided not to examine a complaint challenging a previous ruling by freed band member Yekaterina Samutsevich, the Interfax news agency reported.

That left no further legal challenges to a November ruling by a Moscow district court that found four of the group's videos to be extremist.

It is an offence to distribute or publish anything from the Russian Justice Ministry's blacklist of extremist materials, but it is not yet clear how the ban will be implemented.

Two Pussy Riot members, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, are serving two-year terms in prison camp for a performance critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral.

Samutsevich's sentence was suspended because guards grabbed her before she could participate.


The banned videos, published on five different websites, include one showing the women's performance in Moscow's Church of Christ the Saviour. A video of this has been viewed on YouTube almost 2.5 million times.

Google, which owns YouTube, said after the November ruling that it could only decide on whether to block video materials when given copies of court documents listing specific links.

"Pussy Riot's case will go on,'' Samutsevich said defiantly after the hearing, cited by Russian news agencies.
A documentary film about Pussy Riot won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival this month.