Russian Punk Stars Jailed For Two Years
Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been jailed for two years after a judge ruled they were guilty of hooliganism for performing a protest song in a church.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested after singing a track at a church in Moscow during a service earlier this year.
Their case became a cause celebre as leading pop stars including Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, Bjork, and Peter Gabriel lined up to show support for the trio and call for them to be freed.
But following a trial in Moscow, the three musicians were found guilty on Friday and sentenced to two years each.
Judge Marina Syrova told the rockers they had acted “without morality”, had shown “disrespect to society”, and were “motivated by religious hatred”.
The hearing in Moscow attracted scores of demonstrators – both supporting Pussy Riot and protesting against them – outside the court building. Legendary chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov was reportedly arrested at the scene as he joined the crowd.