Russian punk band Pussy Riot sentenced for anti-Putin cathedral protest

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Punk rock and the Russian regime don't play well together. That's the impression anyway after the three women of the punk-rock band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for their "punk prayer" protesting religion and the Vladimir Putin-led government.

Pussy Riot, a previously obscure all-girl punk band, were arrested in March for their Feb. 21 protest in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. Authorities held them without bail until their August trial. As reported by the Wall Street Journal and others, Judge Marina Syrova sentenced the three women to two years in prison on Friday (Aug. 17). Meanwhile, protestors outside of the courtroom -- and at locations worldwide -- disputed the verdict.

pussy-riot-protest-vladimir-putin-punk-gi.jpgThe furor over the Pussy Riot case stems from criticism of the Russian government and of the Orthodox Church's perceived support of Vladimir Putin. The prosecution of Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is the most extreme crackdown against dissidents since Putin's return to the presidency in May.

With worldwide support from organizations like Amnesty International and celebrities like Madonna and Paul McCartney, the Pussy Riot issue has gained unusual recognition from abroad. A YouTube video from the band, showing scenes from the "punk prayer" also went viral online. Take a look:




Photo/Video credit: Getty Images, YouTube
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