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Pussy Riot found guilty

| August 17, 2012 | 2 Comments

Three members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot are headed to the slammer after being convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” A judge in Moscow sentenced Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, to two years in prison on Friday.

The women were arrested in February following an incident where the band entered a Russian Orthodox Church wearing sleeveless dresses and colorful ski masks to perform a “punk prayer” in protest of  Vladimir Putin.

Shouts of “Shame!” erupted in the courtroom after the verdict was read at the conclusion of the three-hour hearing while Russian police arrested protestors outside, according to the Guardian.

John Dalhuisen of Amnesty International criticized the Judge Marina Syrova’s decision. “The Russian authorities should overturn the court ruling and release the members of Pussy Riot immediately and unconditionally. This trial is another example of the Kremlin’s attempts to discourage and delegitimize dissent. It is likely to backfire,” he said.

In the months leading up to the verdict, Pussy Riot received public support from celebrities like Paul McCartney, Bjork, Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Watch Pussy Riot’s performance at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral: (via Pitchfork)

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  1. Gorbachev says:

    Pathetic verdict. Putin is doing his best Brezhnev impression these days in the all new Soviet Union.

  2. William says:

    The more I’ve read about the trial, this was a predetermined sentence.
    There was no way the judge was going let them off with probation. Premier Putin is setting an example of them. Free speech is dead in Russia. Back in the U.S.S.R., indeed!

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