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Pussy Riot Case to Reach Verdict This Month

Pussy Riot
Livejournal

The trial against three members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot has concluded. The presiding judge will hand down the verdict on Aug. 17.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich have been jailed since March following a Feb. 21 performance by the group at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. Five members of the group sang a “punk prayer” to protest the church’s support for Vladimir Putin’s presidential campaign.

The women were arrested and charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” even though the defense claims that the band did nothing to incite violence. Throughout the trial, the defendants were kept in a glass box. If found guilty, the women can face three years in prison.

Pussy Riot were formed in September 2011 as a response to Putin’s decision to run for President again. He had previously served as Russia’s President from 2000 to 2008 before term limits forced him out and he became the country’s Prime Minister. He was re-elected in March.

Throughout the trial, the women have received support from the musical community, including members of Bikini Klll, Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. Bjork and Madonna have also called for Pussy Riot’s release.

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