City of Paris is Taking Action – Depardieu and #PussyRiot‏

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On February 11 and 12, 2013, Paris City Council will have the opportunity to make Nadejda Tolokonnikova, Ekaterina and Maria Samoutsevitch Alekhina, jailed members of the band Pussy Riot, honorary citizens of Paris, France. The motion will be brought forward by Denis Baupin and is supported by other members of the Paris Green Party.

In light of Russia’s decision to grant citizenship to infamous French actor, Gerard Depardieu after he decided to leave France this month to avoid paying taxes, it seems only fitting that Paris does the same for these Russian women being persecuted for criticizing Putin!

paris pussy riotIn August 2012, the world protested as Pussy Riot was sentenced to two years in prison in a Russian labor camp for “hooliganism” and “incitement of religious hatred” after criticizing Putin during a concert in February in a Moscow cathedral. Two of the three members of this group are still detained in camps in Mordovia (the region where Mr. Depardieu has been given land) and the Urals. Many observers have denounced their conditions of detention and the obvious obstacles to their freedom of expression.

The City of Paris even called for their release last September. Paris now has the chance to go one step further in living up to the values of freedom and human rights by honoring the members of Pussy Riot and expressing support for artists suffering under oppression.

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France’s most famous actor, Gérard Depardieu, recently became a Russian citizen to avoid paying taxes in France — but for political dissidents punished by President Putin’s authoritarian regime, Depardieu’s comment is insulting.

While the actor may be proud to be the newest celebrity citizen in Russia’s “great democracy,” two members of the feminist punk band “Pussy Riot” are imprisoned in labour camps for criticizing Putin during a concert in February. Ironically, Depardieu’s new house will be in Mordovia, the location of one of the camps.

I’m a city councillor in Paris, France, and I’m proposing that Paris give honorary citizenship to the members of Pussy Riot. Click here to sign the petition I started on Change.org with other city councillors and share it with your friends.

Together we can show our support for these brave women who have become symbols of resistance in Russia. This is a tradition. Paris has given honorary citizenship to human rights advocates like Ingrid Betancourt and Aung San Suu Kyi. Like them, Pussy Riot band members have struggled to promote freedom and democracy in their country — values ​​the City of Paris has always held.

In a few days, Paris City Council will decide on our proposal to give Pussy Riot “honorary citizenship.” Popular support for this initiative is essential to convince the members of the Council. Will you join us by signing our petition and supporting our call for the City of Paris to grant Pussy Riot honorary citizenship.

Denis Baupin,

Paris City Councillor

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Thank you for signing and sharing this petition and supporting the City of Paris in granting Nadejda Tolokonnikova, Ekaterina and Maria Samoutsevitch Alekhina honorary citizenship.

**This is an English translation of an identical petition in French found here.

To:
Conseil de Paris / Paris City Council

Make Pussy Riot honorary citizens of Paris! / Faire des Pussy Riot des Citoyennes d’honneur de la Ville de Paris

On February 11 and 12, 2013, Paris City Council will have the opportunity to make Nadejda Tolokonnikova, Ekaterina and Maria Samoutsevitch Alekhina, jailed members of the band Pussy Riot, honourary citizens of Paris, France. The motion will be brought forward by Denis Baupin and is supported by other members of the Paris Green Party.

In light of Russia’s decision to grant citizenship to infamous French actor, Gerard Depardieu after he decided to leave France this month to avoid paying taxes, it seems only fitting that Paris does the same for these Russian women being persecuted for criticizing Putin!

In August 2012, the world protested as Pussy Riot was sentenced to two years in prison in a Russian labour camp for “hooliganism” and “incitement of religious hatred” after criticizing Putin during a concert in February in a Moscow cathedral. Two of the three members of this group are still detained in camps in Mordovia (the region where Mr. Depardieu has been given land) and the Urals. Many observers have denounced their conditions of detention and the obvious obstacles to their freedom of expression.

The City of Paris even called for their release last September. Paris now has the chance to go one step further in living up to the values of freedom and human rights by honoring the members of Pussy Riot and expressing support for artists suffering under oppression.

[Your name]

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