- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2012

MOSCOW | A Russian court postponed an appeal Monday by three members of a jailed punk rock band after one of them fired her lawyers.

Prosecutors criticized the move as a delaying tactic, while one defense lawyer said the women were under tremendous pressure, with the government threatening to take away their children.

The two year-sentences given the three performers for hooliganism after they performed a “punk prayer” against President Vladimir Putin at Moscow’s main cathedral have provoked an international outcry that has embarrassed Mr. Putin’s government.

The band members’ imprisonment has come to symbolize intolerance of dissent in Mr. Putin’s Russia and the increasingly close links between the government and the Orthodox church, which have angered many Russians.


Dissident, 71, gets 20 years in prison

PHNOM PENH | A Cambodian court Monday sentenced a dissident radio station owner to 20 years in prison on insurrection charges that critics claim are part of a political vendetta by the government.

Judge Chaing Sinat of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court said Mam Sonando, 71, was convicted and sentenced on four counts related to a suspected secessionist movement in eastern Cambodia.

He was charged with instigating an insurrection in Kratie province in May this year and inciting armed rebellion.

Mam Sonando’s Beehive Radio is one of the country’s few radio stations broadcasting criticism of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.

Din Sophanara, wife of Mam Sonando, told reporters that the verdict will be appealed. She said her husband was not involved in any rebellion and had done nothing wrong.

The human rights group Amnesty International called the conviction “shocking and baseless” and said it “reflects the deteriorating situation of freedom of expression in Cambodia.”

united kingdom

Detective charged in phone-hacking scandal

LONDON | A high-ranking British detective has been charged with offering to brief the News of the World about the progress of a police investigation into phone hacking at the now-defunct tabloid — one of the most serious allegations so far uncovered in the wide-ranging scandal.

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