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Russian Prime Minister calls for Pussy Riot to be freed

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     Russian Prime Minister calls for Pussy Riot to be freed

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called on the three jailed members of Russian feminist collective and punk band Pussy Riot to be freed, reports The Associated Press.

    During a meeting with members of his United Russia party, Medvedev said that while Pussy Riot’s actions made him “sick,” keeping the three women in prison would be unproductive. “In my view, a suspended sentence would be sufficient, taking into account the time they have already spent in custody.”

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    The three women, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were arrested in February after performing a one-minute protest song, “Our Lady, Chase Putin Out”, at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral. The women were denouncing the ties between Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime and the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova, and Samutsevich were each found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility” and sentenced to two years in prison. Since then, the Russian government has been searching for the group’s other members, forcing at least two women to flee the country. Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova, and Samutsevich are currently appealing their conviction.

    The Associated Press speculates that by having Medvedev call for the women’s release, it may allow for Putin to put the case behind him while not appearing weak.

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