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Russia

Pussy Riot Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For *Hooliganism*

THE GUARDIAN (UK), THE MOSCOW TIMES (Russia)

Worldcrunch

On Friday, the three members of Russian punk-band Pussy Riot were found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and sentenced to two years in prison.

Judge Marina Syrova said the defendants had "crudely undermined social order" when they staged an impromptu performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on February 21.

Moscow correspondents for the Guardian reported that the three women, Tolokonnikova, Alekhina and Samutsevich, remained calm and defiant throughout the verdict hearing.

Judge says "men and women have equal rights and freedoms" under Russian constitution. Women nod and laugh.

— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) August 17, 2012

Expectedly, supporters of the three young women have clashed with police outside the courtroom in Moscow with arrests being made, including Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

This is the police wrestling with Garry Kasparov inside the paddy van. Are they beating him? twitter.com/obk/status/236…

— Olaf Koens (@obk) August 17, 2012

People on balcony opposite court playing punk music really loud and throwing balaclavas off balcony

— Ilya Mouzykantskii (@ilyamuz) August 17, 2012

The feminist collective has earned worldwide support from fellow performers and human rights advocates. On Friday, street protests sprung up in at least 54 cities worldwide, reports the Moscow Times.

In case anyone has forgotten, this is Pussy Riot's now infamous "punk prayer" calling to "throw Putin out." An act that results in two years in prison in Putin's Russia:

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