Some of Britain’s most influential musicians have published a letter asking Russian officials to release girl band Pussy Riot, who were jailed on hooliganism charges following a protest in Moscow’s main cathedral…
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Mariya Alekhina and Yekaterina could face seven years in jail if convicted. The female musicians have been in jail since February and their trial, which began on Monday, has not only caused major debates in Russia but also worldwide.
Pete Townshend of The Who, former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, Corinne Bailey Rae and others are some of the many musicians who have signed a letter explaining that Pussy Riot were involved in legitimate protest and should not be facing jail for their actions.
The letter says:
“Dissent is a right in any democracy and it is entirely disproportionate that they face seven years in jail for what we consider a preposterous charge of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’.
“We believe firmly that it is the role of the artist to make legitimate political protest and fight for freedom of speech.”
Pussy Riot have also received support from the likes of Madonna, Sting and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
According to BBC News, Putin told reporters in London that despite their wrong doing, he doesn’t think they should be judged too severely.