Monday, May 20, 2013
Nataliya Vasilyeva / The Associated Press
MOSCOW — A Moscow judge has sentenced each of three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot to two years in prison on hooliganism charges following a trial that has drawn international outrage.
Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage in a courtroom in Moscow today. The women, two of whom have young children, were found guilty of "hooliganism."
Friday's sentence comes amid a wave of protests around the world in support of the feminist rockers.
The judge said in the verdict that the three band members "committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred" and offended religious believers.
The three were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a new term as Russia's president two weeks later.