Putin Jails Pussy Riot

Two-year prison sentence for band's anti-Putin protest
Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow Friday. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow Friday. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

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The Russian punk band Pussy Riot has been sentenced to two years in prison on  hooliganism charges for the band’s February protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

The New York Times reports from Moscow:

While a guilty verdict against the three women, members of a band called Pussy Riot, was widely expected, suspense had built over how severe a punishment they would receive. Prosecutors had demanded three-year prison terms, but President Vladimir V. Putin had weighed in on the side of leniency. […]

As the judge read the lengthy verdict, hundreds of demonstrators had gathered outside the courthouse and shouted, “Free Pussy Riot!”

Riot police officers arrested dozens of them, including the former chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is active in the Russian political opposition. Mr. Kasparov fought with the police and appeared to be beaten as he was bundled into a police vehicle.

The all-female band has been in prison since March.