Russian prosecutors seek three years jail for Pussy Riot

AFP, Tuesday 7 Aug 2012

The three women members of Pussy Riot face charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after singing a song against Vladimir Putin in a church; the case is ongoing

Russian prosecutors on Tuesday asked for a three year sentence for the three female members of Pussy Riot, saying their crime of singing an anti-Vladimir Putin song in a church was so "severe" they deserved isolation.

"This crime is severe and the prosecution considers that their correction is only possible in conditions of isolation from society and the punishment needed must be a real deprivation of freedom," state prosecutor Alexander Nikiforov told the court.

On the eve of March's presidential polls, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina barged into the Church of Christ the Saviour and performed a "punk prayer" against Putin who was running for a third Kremlin term.

The three women, all in their 20s, were detained in March and charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.

Nikiforov asked the court to find the women, two of whom have young children, "guilty of the crime and set them the following punishment: deprivation of freedom for three years and punishment in a penal colony of a general regime."

The lawyer for the victims, Larisa Pavlova, called the women's protest a "bacchanalia, an ugly act." Pavlova said their performance was aimed at "desecrating the Orthodox faith."

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