Russian Prosecutors Seek 3-Year Sentence for Jailed Rockers

Posted August 7th, 2012 at 11:05 am (UTC-5)
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Russian prosecutors have asked a Moscow court to sentence three members of an all-female punk band to three years in prison for performing a political “protest prayer” at the city's main cathedral.

Federal prosecutor Alexei Nikiforov said in closing arguments Wednesday that the performance insulted both the church and its parishioners.

The three-year sentence is less than the seven year maximum they face for charges of hooliganism.

The trio, members of the all-female punk rock band, Pussy Riot, entered Christ the Savior Cathedral in February, where they staged an impromptu performance of a song whose lyrics call on the Virgin Mary to to deliver them from Vladimir Putin, who at the time running for the Russian presidency. The three were arrested in March and have been jailed since.

The case has prompted calls for leniency from an array of international musicians, celebrities, and ordinary Russians. Last week, President Vladimir Putin said he did not favor harsh punishment for members of the band.