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Pussy Riot Found Guilty

The Russian punk band have been sentenced to two years in prison.
August 16, 2012, 11:00pm

Yekaterina Samutsevic, Maria Alyokhina, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the three members of Pussy Riot on trial for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred," have today been found guilty.

UPDATE:
The three members of Pussy Riot have been sentenced to two years in prison.

Though they argued attenuating circumstances—including two of the defendants having children and all having no previous history of crime with positive character profiles—Judge Marina Syrova concluded that it was not possible to change the charges, stating: “There are no exclusive circumstances to do that.”

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As the sentence was delivered, shouts of “Shame!” filled the courtroom.

The trio were arrested back in February after storming the altar of Moscow’s Christ The Saviour Cathedral to perform "Holy Shit." The performance, which included chants of "Mother of God, drive out Putin!" was said to be a protest against the Russian Orthodox Christian Church’s close ties with president Vladimir Putin. This is that performance:

As the trial came to a close, Tolokonnikova stated:

"This is a trial of the whole government system of Russia, which so likes to show its harshness toward the individual, its indifference to his honour and dignity… If this political system throws itself against three girls… it shows this political system is afraid of truth.

Maybe they think it wouldn't be wrong to try us for speaking against Putin and his system, but they can't say that because it's been forbidden."

For more on Pussy Riot, read about when we spoke to them in February and the coverage of the protests that followed their arrests over at VICE.