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Free Pussy Riot flashmob outside of Germany’s only Russian orthodox pilgrimage site in Bekond near Trier

08 November 2012 von Shnippy FreePussyRiot CGN / BN

 Deutsche Version

Activists of the Free Pussy Riot Cologne / Bonn group were supported by Amnesty International Bonn when they gathered in the small village of Bekond near Trier on Saturday, 03.11.2012.
With their protest in front of the only Russian orthodox pilgrimage site in Germany they demanded the immediate release of Pussy Riot members and all other political prisoners in Russia.

Apparently Hotel Brunnenhof is being used as a makeshift church and pilgrimage simultaneously. Potentially present employees preferred to hide behind closed shutters.
20 protestors had travelled from Cologne, Bonn, Frankfurt and Luxembourg to this hotel in order to raise awareness of the increasing restrictive government tactics in Russia.
The collaboration between President Vladimir Putin and the orthodox patriarch and the latter’s former KGB-colleague Kyrill I is of particular concern.

The pilgrimage site in Bekond is vigorously debated in Russia. Since August this year, Duma deputies have been prohibited from owning or purchasing property abroad. According to Russia News, breaking this law results in being fined with around 5-10 million Rubles, a 5-year prison sentence and a prohibition to hold office for 3 consecutive years. 51 % of the hotel property in Bekond is currently being owned by Alina Dolskaya, the wife of Duma deputy Andrey Isayev. The remaining 49 % are being held by the pilgrimage company St. Thomas Tdf GmbH.

Amnesty International employee Klaus H. Walter voiced  his views regarding the issues involved:
„Andrey Isayev, being the chair of the Duma Labour and Social committee, is mainly responsible for the latest tightening of legislation, for instance enforcing non-governmental organizations to register as foreign agents,     if they receive financial aid to support their activities       (this does not only affect local human rights organizations like Memorial and many others, but also prejudices the work of UNESCO or membership organizations like Greenpeace and Amnesty International). The demonstration laws have been drastically restricted      under the auspices of Isayev – and now it turns out that    his very own wife is financially ‚involved‘ with this so-called pilgrimage site near the Luxembourg border. Duma Deputies from opposition parties get arrested and are accused of owning foreign properties. Naturally this does not apply to Mr. Isayev since his wife owns the property.“

The focus of the demonstration however was demand for the immediate release of the band members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Aljochina of Pussy Riot remaining in prison, as well as all other political prisoners in Russia.
The colourful balaclava wearing activists used four megaphones to shout slogans like: ‚Free Pussy Riot, Russia without Putin, Freedom for all political prisoners etc.‘ predominantly in German and Russian.

A conversation between the action organiser Janine Schneider and Bekond Mayor Mr. Reh confirmed that there was one room of the hotel currently being used for praying and holding devine services (the former breakfast room). The building was obviously in the process of being converted. Mr Reh stated that he frequently saw buses filled with pilgrims in front of the hotel. He explained he was simply happy that the property is not left vacant to decay and that it creates working places locally.

Free Pussy Riot Cologne / Bonn is already planning another action for the End of November in the inner city of Cologne. More detailed information will be available here


once the formal registration has been submitted to the authorities.

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