Pussy Riot nomination insults rights activist Sakharov's memory - Russian diplomat

Russia's European Union Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov has advised European parliamentarians to look into the events surrounding the country's all-female punk group Pussy Riot more closely before nominating it for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

"Have they no shame? In my opinion, it is, above all, an insult to the memory of Andrei Dmitriyevich Sakharov. I am certain that he would not have understood and agreed with it. What freedom of thought are you talking about in this case?" Chizhov told Interfax in Brussels.

"The background of this group, who staged that action at the Cathedral of the Christ the Savior, which landed them in court, is probably well known in our country, but far less abroad," he said.

"How would the European Parliament treat one of their first actions to publicly burn dummies depicting a Jew, a homosexual and a migrant worker? How can anti-Semitism fighters and defenders of sexual minorities and migrant workers' rights sitting in the European Parliament combine all this?" he said.

"Why are they so emotional if they do not know enough? They should have analyzed everything before yielding to such provocations," Chizhov said.

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