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Trial continues for Pussy Riot's political protest performance

April 19, 2012

Following Vladimir Putin's presidential election victory, the all-female punk band Pussy Riot performed a protest concert at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow against the leader. The three women suspected of being members of the band were arrested and are currently awaiting sentencing, according to The Associated Press. Maria Alekhina, Yekateria Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are facing up to seven years in prison for their dissenting performance, if they are found guilty.

Their arrest and subsequent trials have sparked numerous protests outside the Moscow courthouse where the trial is taking place, and at least four people have been arrested, BBC News reports. More than 100 protesters gathered in the courtyard of the building, carrying posters and shouting, "Freedom!" for the women who chanted "Mother Mary, drive Putin away" just before the elections.

"What they did does not deserve such a long period of punishment," Lyudmila Alexeyeva, the head of Russia's oldest human rights organization Moscow Helsinki Group, told BBC.

The news source indicates the three women being detained have denied all claims that they are the individuals in Pussy Riot. Since the band members donned balaclavas for the performance, there is no direct proof the three women were those on stage that night.

Those who want to find out the latest on the trial can find out by calling Russia with phone cards.

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