If the Kremlin actually follows through with prosecuting Pyotr Pavlensky, then hold onto your hats—it promises to be one hell of a show.
Pavlensky, of course, is the 29-year-old St. Petersburg artist who seized Russia’s attention on November 10 when he stripped naked on Red Square and nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones—an act of protest on the Police Day holiday against what he called a creeping police state. He dubbed the act “Nail.”
"I used a metaphor," Pavlensky told DozhdTV after being released from police custody the next day. “It was a metaphor for the political indifference that threatens to become irreversible.”
Prosecutors have opened up a criminal case against Pavlensky for “hooliganism motivated by political, ideological, racial, ethnic, or religious hatred” and he has been summoned for an interrogation on November 21. He could face as many as seven years in prison.
As Kevin Rothrock, editor of Global Voices’ RuNet Echo project, notes in a recent post, his case is based on the exact same article of the criminal code used to prosecute Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich for their anti-Kremlin protest in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.
Read more. [Image: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters]
Last week, in New Delhi, India, news stories of a horrific gang rape spread quickly, igniting widespread outrage. A 23 year old woman was attacked by six men on a moving bus and brutalized for 45 minutes, in the most recent and alarming of several high-profile incidents. Protesters have taken to the streets to demonstrate against the growing incidence of rape, and its slow and ineffective prosecution. Riot police have responded, dispersing crowds with forceful tactics including water cannons, batons, and tear gas. India’s government has now ordered a special inquiry into the incident to identify any negligence or errors on the part of police.
See more. [Images: AP, Getty, Reuters]
[Images: Julie Dermansky]
A long-standing conflict over the sovereignty of a group of eight tiny, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea has resulted in dozens of anti-Japanese protests across China, some violent. The dispute came to a head after the Japanese government nationalized control of three of the largest islands earlier this month, purchasing them from a private Japanese family for more than US$25 million. The island group is called Senkaku Islands by the Japanese, Diaoyu Islands by the Chinese, Tiaoyutai Islands by Taiwanese, or the Pinnacle Islands by English speakers. Beyond national pride, potentially large gas reserves and fishing rights have raised the stakes, and China is now moving to assert its claim to the islands, contain the demonstrations at home, and respond forcefully to what it sees as a major Japanese provocation.
See more. [Images: AP, Reuters]
The uproar over a 14-minute anti-Islam YouTube video has sparked furious protests from Somalia to Egypt to Sudan to Tunisia to Libya to Bangladesh to Indonesia to Pakistan. With new reports of protests surfacing every minute, we’ve compiled the latest reported incidents into this interactive Google Map.
[Images: Reuters/Google Maps]
On Monday morning, Tampa almost appeared ready for war. Armored vehicles, the same MRAPs used in Iraq, passed me as I returned to my car. Helicopters circled above. But there was no hurricane, no massive demonstrations, no anarchy. Just a big bill for those hordes of extra police.
See more. [Images: Julie Dermansky]