International Law

Russian Punk Trio Convicted of Hooliganism for Surprise Performance at Cathedral

An all-female punk rock group was convicted by a Russian court on Friday of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.”

The band, Pussy Riot, was charged after its flash performance in February at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral. The group recited a “punk prayer” and criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Despite support from celebrity musicians, including Paul McCartney and Madonna, and from Amnesty International, the court concluded that the “Pussy Riot singers colluded under unestablished circumstances, for the purpose of offensively violating public peace in a sign of flagrant disrespect for citizens,” according to reports by the Hollywood Reporter and the Guardian, which maintained a live blog to cover the developments.

The case drew international attention over concerns about free speech in Russia.

Prosecutors are seeking a three-year sentence for the women. But the judge has not yet determined sentencing, the National Post reports.

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