It's the court case that has captured the attention of musicians and free speech campaigners globally. The 3 members of Russian riot grrrl band Pussy Riot have been charged with hooliganism and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. Some half year ago the band played a flash mob style gig in a Moscow cathedral where, in one song, they exorted the Virgin Mary to 'throw Putin out'. The band claim that the gig was a protest against Russian President Putin, whilst prosecutors insisted that the obsenity laced gig amounted to blasphemy and incitement of religious hatred. The BBC reports that
'Judge Marina Syrova convicted the women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, saying they had "crudely undermined social order".. had offended the feelings of Orthodox believers and shown a "complete lack of respect".'
Reacting to the sentencing band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, said she was
'"not bitter about being in jail". But, speaking through her lawyer on Twitter, she said: "Politically, I am furious."
"Our imprisonment serves as a clear and unambiguous sign that freedom is being taken away from the entire country,"'
Stars including Franz Ferdinand, Paul McCartney, Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers have all offered their support to the band, whilst protestors outside the courtroom included former Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov- who was arrested for his involvement.
Below is some footage of the incident that led to the arrest.