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Ikea pulls Pussy Riot protest pic

Ikea pulls Pussy Riot protest pic

Published: 24 Sep 2012 10:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Sep 2012 10:27 GMT+02:00

Swedish furniture giant Ikea removed a picture from its Russian website of four youths wearing balaclavas, in an apparent reference to the punk band Pussy Riot, members of which were jailed in Russia in August in a much-criticized ruling.

The picture was removed from a section of the chain’s Russian website where customers could pose on furniture in the store.

The image was part of an annual campaign whereby readers could vote for their favourite picture, with the winning entry to be used for the front cover of the upcoming Ikea furniture catalogue.

However, Ikea pulled the picture from the website citing that such images do not reflect the company's own vision.

“Ikea is a commercial company working with home furnishing; home interiors are our focus. We take no standpoint when it comes to religious and political questions,” said Ikea spokesperson Sara Carlsson to The Local.

The image, which had garnered 1,431 “likes” from the public – more than any other picture uploaded that week – was replaced with text explaining the decision:

“We cannot allow our advertising project to be used as a means of propaganda," according to The Moscow Times newspaper.

The ski-masks are an apparent reference to Pussy Riot, the Russian protest band that was arrested in Moscow in August and sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism following a performance in a Catholic church that mocked Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

The arrest sparked a flurry of protesters supporting free speech and the release of the band, which included support from high profile names in the music world including Madonna and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The three Pussy Riot members who were convicted are due to have an appeal hearing on October 1st, with supporters of the band planning to hold a worldwide rally on the same day.

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Your comments about this article

11:52 September 24, 2012 by Swissbank
I thought Sweden is stand for freedom of speech all they way. In second thought freedom of money most important in this case. How funny it is. If one African nation ask u to remove ur photo u would have cry freedom of speech..
14:47 September 24, 2012 by entry
When Pussy Riot is released from their imprisonment and they take over a Mosque to protest Russia's anti-homosexual freedom policies will the cry for 'freedom of speech' be just as strong?
21:04 September 24, 2012 by Alexander.K
entry, there is more to that then "anti-homosexual freedom protest".
23:46 September 24, 2012 by entry
@21:04 September 24, 2012 by Alexander.K

The individual items are not the issue. Free speech is something that I support. I do not believe that protesters can do whatever they want in the name of Free Speech. Invading the sanctity of a house of worship because they were protesting Putin is not OK. That is not 'Free Speech'. That is non-sense.
08:43 September 25, 2012 by Rebel
What would have happened if this group had disrupped a service in a synogogue or mosque?
12:19 October 3, 2012 by Lemon1987
08:43 September 25, 2012 by Rebel

That is a realy good question though I think they wouldnt do that cause of the fear .Muslim religion is not so " benevolent" as western one.(Catholic the same with Orthodox) so thats why I see various answers on this issue. From immediately beaten to death, shot, hang out or decapitated continuing with whole Muslim nation outcry cause they definitely crossed the line of where can be free speech aplicated and where it is absolute non-sense. This is not definitely free speech issue but pure act of defamation against the religion.
14:20 October 4, 2012 by stparker1979
Performance in a Catholic church? This reads like an error. Surely it would be Orthodox.
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