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Pussy Riot band member freed, two others remain in jail

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 01:27

Oct. 10 - Russian court frees one Pussy Riot member but upholds the prison sentences of two others after appeal. Simon Hanna reports.

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Members of Pussy Riot - held in a glass cage in court - celebrate after hearing that one of their number will be released. A Russian court said that the prison sentences for two other members though will be upheld. The group were appealing after being convicted in August for hooliganism based on religious hatred. During the appeal the women, aged, 22, 24 and 30 spoke to the court, saying their action was political not anti-religious. They also apologised for unwillingly offending church members, saying they intended to protest against the merging of political and religious elites. Yekaterina Samutsevich was free to leave after her successful appeal, and was swamped by media after leaving the courtroom, where she was greeted by friends and her father. Pussy Riot stormed Moscow's biggest cathedral and performed a "punk prayer" in February, calling on the Virgin Mary to oust Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Western government have portrayed the women's two year prison sentences as excessive, and opposition groups say their treatment is part of a government crackdown on dissent. But many Russians were shocked by the protest and regard Pussy Riot as irreverent self-publicists.

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Pussy Riot band member freed, two others remain in jail

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 01:27