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Pussy Riot members jailed for two years for hooliganism

Pussy Riot members jailed for two years for hooliganism

PanARMENIAN.Net - Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, over a protest in a cathedral, BBC News reported.

Judge Marina Syrova jailed the three defendants for two years each.

She said the women had "crudely undermined social order" during their action in February.

The women say their "punk prayer" was a political act in protest against the Russian Orthodox Church leader's support of President Vladimir Putin.

Prosecutors had been seeking a three-year jail sentence.

Judge Syrova said Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, had offended the feelings of Orthodox believers and shown a "complete lack of respect".

"Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Samutsevich committed hooliganism - in other words, a grave violation of public order," she said.

The judge quoted prosecution witnesses as saying the act had been one of blasphemy, not politics.

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