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FOREIGN AFFAIRS—RUSSIA—FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Milne), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 863—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) three members of the Russian group Pussy Riot have been sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for `hooliganism' and `homosexual propaganda' following a non-violent performance,

  (ii) the Governments of the United States of America, Britain, France and Germany have denounced the sentences as disproportionate,

  (iii) several laws recently passed in Russia restrict freedom of expression, severely punish dissent, ban pride marches and restrict gay rights, and

  (iv) several Russian opposition leaders, including Mr Garry Kasparov and Mr Sergei Udaltsov, have been arrested for rallying in defence of Pussy Riot; and

 (b) calls on the Government to express its concerns to the Russian Government regarding the intimidation and prosecution of opposition activists and the disproportionate sentence given to Pussy Riot.

Question put and passed.