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© RIA Novosti. Andrey Stenin

Pussy Riot nominated for TIME’s Person of the Year

by at 27/11/2012 17:50

Feminist punks from Pussy Riot have been listed among Person of the Year nominees by the Time magazine.

The women, two of whom have been jailed for a punk prayer against the third presidential term of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s long-time leader and TIME Person of the Year in 2007, are the only representatives from Russia featured in the list of 40 contestants.

Yekatrina Samutsevich was released after a courtroom appeal in October, leaving her two other co-defendants, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, behind bars for their anti-Kremlin church protest. 

At press time, Pussy Riot was in the 16th the position, between US Olympic champions, gymnast Gabrielle Douglas and swimmer Michael Phelps in a popular vote available on the TIME website. The final decision, however, is to be made by the magazine’s editorial team.


Competing with artists

“In a year when so many voices of liberty and dissent have suffered harsh retribution, the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot has paid a particularly steep price for provocative political expression,” the description on the website read.

Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei and US rapper Jay-Z landed way down the list in comparison with them.

The highest position an artist has climbed to this year was the fifth line of the rating occupied by Korean rapper Psy, who “broke all kinds of sound barriers this year” with his Gangnam Style video.


Taking over Romney

The absolute leader in the online vote is the new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsy, who rocketed to his post in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

Both participants of this year’s US presidential race, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, are also taking part in the competition.

At the time of writing, members of the public clearly gave their preference to the Russian balaclava-clad activists, and not the republican politician Romney who lost to Obama coming 20 positions below in the list.

The reelected US president is currently holding the 4th position in the vote, right after Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl who confronted the rule of the Islamist Taliban group.

Kim Jong-un, “the chubby cheeked” heir of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, was ranked 2nd at the time of publishing.

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