Pussy Riot members sentenced to two years in prison

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MOSCOW — A Moscow judge sentenced three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot to two years in prison on hooliganism charges today following a trial seen around the world as an emblem of Russia’s intolerance of dissent.

The trial inspired a wave of small but raucous protests across Europe and North America in support of the feminist rockers, who have been dubbed prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International.

Judge Marina Syrova said in her verdict that the band members “committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred.” She rejected the women’s arguments that they were protesting the Orthodox Church’s support for Putin and didn’t seek to offend religious believers.

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