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Russian Authorities Hunt for More Members of Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot
Livejournal

Russian police have not stopped their efforts to silence outspoken punk band Pussy Riot, even after three members of the group were sentenced to two years in jail for “hooliganism.” Reuters reports that officials want to find other members of the all-female band who also took part in the February protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Though the women have been wearing masks in public, authorities reportedly know the names of the other two who participated in the protest and just need to find them. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina were given two-year sentences for forcing their way into a Moscow church to sing an anti-Putin “punk prayer.”

As Pussy Riot consist of perhaps more than 10 members, it’s unclear how many additional women police are seeking. Mark Feigin, an attorney for the group, said officials had surveillance video of the women walking into the church. Tolokonnikova’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov, believes the president wants to use Pussy Riot as an example to others who may be considering staging protests. “Putin likes the taste of repression,” he said.

Last week, other members of the group interviewed by Reuters said the trial had made them even more determined to keep speaking out. They released a new song called ‘Putin Lights Up the Fires’ on Friday.

Since the trial began, reaction from the rock community has been strong. The Black Keys vowed to never perform in Russia “as long as they imprison innocent musicians for speaking their minds peacefully.” Peaches released a ‘Free Pussy Riot‘ video with the Hives, Miike Snow and others. The Beastie Boys and Bjork have also spoken out in support of the band.

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