Swiss Director of Pussy Riot Trial Play Denied Russian Visa

5:06 PM PST 09/17/2013 by Vladimir Kozlov

He planned to discuss a film based on the stage show.

MOSCOW -- The Russian consulate in Bonn has denied an entry visa for Swiss director and playwright Milo Rau who staged the play Moskovskiye Protsessy (The Moscow Trials), partially based on the Pussy Riot trial, in Moscow last March.

Rau planned to travel to Russia to discuss a film based on the play, AlthussersHaende.org reported, adding that political reasons were likely to be behind the move. Russian authorities did not comment on whether a visa was denied to Rau.

The Moscow Trials, an experimental play staged at the Sakharov Center, partially recreated the events of three high-profile recent Russian court cases, including that of feminist punk rockers Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, sentenced to two years in prison for the anti-Putin "punk prayer" at Moscow’s Savior the Christ Cathedral in February 2012.

The third Pussy Riot member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, released on probation last October, took part in the performance, playing herself alongside several prominent Russian cultural figures, such as curator Ekaterina Degot, gallery owner Maral Guelman and journalist Maxim Shevchenko, while a lay-jury, randomly chosen from Moscow residents, pronounced verdicts.

The performance was interrupted for several hours by officers of the Federal Migration Service who showed up to check if Rau had violated visa requirements but found no irregularities. Another interruption occurred when a group of Cossacks protesting against the play arrived.

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