Russian Punk Rockers Sentencing Draws Protests Across Europe

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Moscow judge has sentenced each of three members of the provocative punk rock band to two years in prison on hooliganism charges following a trial that has drawn international outrage.
Friday's sentence comes amid a wave of protests around the world in support of the feminist rockers.
The judge said in the verdict that the three band members "committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred" and offended religious believers.
The three were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a new term as Russia's president two weeks later.
Celebrities including Paul McCartney, Madonna and Bjork have called for the band members to be freed. Germany's top human rights official, Markus Loening, joined them Friday, saying the women's detention had already been "fully disproportionate."

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