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Imprisoned Pussy Riot Members Appeal Jail Sentences

Pussy Riot Protestors
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

The three members of the Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot who earlier this month were convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison after staging a “punk prayer” in protest of President Vladimir Putin have officially filed an appeal. The band’s lawyer confirmed Monday that an appeal was submitted to Khamovniki district court with “a decision expected within 10 days,” reports the Associated Press.

Defense attorney Nikolai Polozov believes that Russian law is in Pussy Riot’s favor, but also insists that that doesn’t necessarily mean anything for the defendants. ”If the court abides by the law it would throw out the verdict,” Polozov tells Reuters. ”But being realists, understanding all the efforts the state has put into this case, we think it’s unlikely the verdict will be overturned.”

Meanwhile, as we reported Monday, two other Pussy Riot members not arrested by Russian authorities have fled the country to avoid possible prosecution. Their escape was first revealed via a post from the Pussy Riot Group Twitter account. “Since the Moscow police said they are searching for them, they will keep a low profile for now,” explained Pyotr Verzilov, husband of one of the jailed women. ”They are in a safe place beyond the reach of the Russian police.”

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