Pussy Riot v Vladimir Putin

The anti-Putin band is still imprisoned and face seven years in jail for protesting against the Russian president

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Two days ago it was reported that Pussy Riot, the punk band who have been in custody since March after being accused of staging an anti Vladimir Putin protest, were likely to be released. Yesterday, we learnt the depressing news that their appeal had been rejected. Band members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina were arrested on counts of "hooliganism" after, wearing balaclavas, they burst into a cathedral in Moscow and put on an impromptu performance, criticising the church’s support of the Russian president’s election campaign. The Pussy Riot song 'Holy S**t' included the line “Holy Mother, throw Putin out!”

We will continue to campaign for their release - basically for as long as it takes

The three women, while admitting to be members of the band, deny taking part in the protest, which took place back in Feburary. They now potentially face up to seven years in jail for actions, which were described by Putin as “unpleasant”. Earlier this month the Pussy Riot members went on hunger strike in their prison cells after they were lead to believe the case was being built to give them a disadvantage. “I believe that neither I, nor my lawyers have the same rights as the prosecution. I urge you to examine this criminal case without prejudice. This is my last chance,” Maria Alekhina said ahead of yesterday’s hearing.

A string of people from Russia’s arts world have signed a letter putting pressure on the court to release the women arguing they pose no 'real danger', while Amnesty have described them as ‘prisoners of conscience’ and called for their 'immediate release'. 

"We will continue to campaign for their release - basically for as long as it takes. There’s growing support for them and our text campaign has been massively popular, with over 12,000 people taking part so far," Amnesty says in a statement to Dazed Digital.

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