Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Punk Band Backer Wants U.S. Sanctions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Punk Band Backer Wants U.S. Sanctions

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - The husband of one of the imprisoned members of the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot wants U.S. sanctions against Russian officials involved in prosecuting the musicians.

Pyotr Verzilov met Thursday with U.S. lawmakers and aides who drafted legislation that would impose sanctions on Russian officials involved in human rights violations. Verzilov is married to band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

Three of punk band's members were sentenced last month to two years in prison for performing an irreverent song mocking Russian President Vladimir Putin inside Moscow's main cathedral.

The legislation, known as the Magnitsky bill, is named for a lawyer who died in a Russian jail in 2009 after allegedly being subjected to torture. He developed pancreatitis that was left untreated. Proponents of the bill say the death and allegations of torture highlight corruption in Russia's judicial system.

The bill has been approved by the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees but has yet to come up in either chamber for a final vote. …

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