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Russian Punk Band Found Guilty, Members Sentenced To Two Years In Prison

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A trio of women from the punk collective known as Pussy Riot face two years in prison each after being found guilty of "hooliganism" for a recent protest against President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

More from NBC News:

"Our imprisonment is a clear and distinct sign that the whole country's freedom is being taken away," said member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, say their protest on Feb. 21 was intended to highlight the close ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and state, and not to offend believers.

Their feminist punk collective has about 10 members who appear in public in ski masks for anonymous impromptu performances they describe as a form of protest art.

The three members have been held in jail since shortly after the appearance in the cathedral, awaiting the trial, which saw a parade of state witnesses say they were traumatized by the church performance, which prosecutors called an abuse of God.

Russia has become increasingly totalitarian lately — just this morning Moscow's high court upheld a 100 year ban on gay pride there.

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  1. Awful...

    Posted by: luminum | Aug 17, 2012 11:23:33 AM


  2. Well can you all remember what happened to the Dixie Chicks when they spoke out against George W Bush ? They got death threats, they were boycotted on TV and radio, they were verbally attacked by talk show hosts and by the general public etc. The US was only just a few short steps from this kind of behavior themselves. It's very easy to become a terrible country like this if people allow the right wing media to whip up a frenzy against people who are exercising their freedom of speech.

    If we elect mormon Mitt Romney here in the US we may end up with the same situation. He's already bending all the rules by not releasing his tax records etc - bascially he's being dishonest and he isn't even President yet.

    It's a slippery slope......

    Posted by: Icebloo | Aug 17, 2012 12:05:49 PM


  3. Now this is a violation of "freedom of speech", i.e., being punished for criticizing the president, and not boycotting a business for its homophobic views.

    Posted by: Blake | Aug 17, 2012 1:54:16 PM


  4. Why is Russia behaving like an African country? Why are they letting themselves be manipulated by American Christian groups?

    Posted by: Blake | Aug 17, 2012 1:56:14 PM


  5. This is nothing new for Russia. Putin is the newest, latest Tsar, God's anointed. He can't be expected to behave differently from any of his predecessors.

    The main good that seems to come from the situation is that, for a few heady weeks, all kinds of people got to say "Pussy Riot" seriously, on all media, in many places.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Aug 17, 2012 2:51:40 PM


  6. In the US they might have faced trespassing and disorderly persons offenses, but only if the church wanted to press charges. The most likely sentence for both would be probation for a first time offense, plus possible fines.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 17, 2012 3:51:54 PM


  7. Remember you have an russian orthodox minority in the USA too, I hope they have something to say about this. Patriarch Kiril is ruling Russia now with his friend KGB agent Putin....

    Posted by: Drake | Aug 17, 2012 6:04:37 PM


  8. US they might have faced trespassing and disorderly persons offenses, but only if the church wanted to press charges. The most likely sentence for both would be probation for a first time offense,

    Posted by: air max tn for men | Sep 13, 2012 5:33:45 AM


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