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Russian punk band Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism
Three members of the punk band Pussy Riot — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), and Maria Alyokhina (right) — attend a court hearing July 30.
Three members of the punk band Pussy Riot — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), and Maria Alyokhina (right) — attend a court hearing July 30.
Aleshkovsky Mitya/ITAR-TASS Photo/Corbis
T

hree members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, on trial for a February protest at an Orthodox Church cathedral, have been found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. The judge ruled that Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, had offended Orthodox believers when they performed a profanity-laced song, which they call their "punk prayer," near the altar in the cathedral on Feb. 21. The women say the performance was a political act in protest of the Russian Orthodox Church leader's support of President Vladimir Putin. Prosecutors are seeking a three-year jail sentence for each of the women. Some Russians see the case "as an attempt by the government to crack down on dissent."

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