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Dmitry Medvedev Calls For Pussy Riot To Be Freed

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PUSSY RIOT
The three members of Pussy Riot were jailed for two years | AP

Russia's prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, has called for the three jailed members of female punk band Pussy Riot to be freed.

Medvedev said the protest by the band in Moscow's cathedral earlier this year, which criticised President Vladimir Putin, was "sickening", adding he was "sickened by what they did, by their looks, by the hysteria that followed what had happened.

"The prolongation of their incarceration in the conditions of jail seems to me to be unproductive. A suspended sentence, taking into account time they have already spent, would be entirely sufficient.

"This well-known group of girls has been in jail long enough."

Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are currently in a pre-trial detention centre, awaiting an appeal which will begin on October 1.

During the trial, Putin himself said he hoped the women would not be judged "too harshly".

Each member is due to serve a two-year sentence, after they were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, instead of the three years requested by the prosecution.

Both Putin and Medvedev said they had no intention of interfering in Russia's notoriously politicised court system.
Their lawyer Nikolai Polozov said: "We see that the rhetoric is changing.

The authorities, in the form of Dmitry Medvedev, have realised that this story has gone way too far."

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