Russian PM Calls For Pussy Riot To Be Freed From Jail

By Michael Nelson / September 12, 2012 - 1:32 pm

On August 17, three members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty on charges of on charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” Those charges came as a result of a “punk prayer” performed by the band at Moscow’s Christ The Savior Cathedral, in which they asked the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin. Musicians and activists have rallied behind the band, but today, they’ve received support from an ally with a bit more political clout: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who has allegedly called for the band members to be freed.

According to AP, Medvedev commented today that further prison time would be “unproductive.” (The members of Pussy Riot have already spent five months behind bars.) Says the report, this “could signal the band members’ imminent release as their case comes up for appeal on Oct. 1.”

UPDATE: More from the AP:

Medvedev said the women’s appearance and the “hysteria” accompanying them made him sick, but keeping them in prison any longer would be unproductive.

“In my view, a suspended sentence would be sufficient, taking into account the time they have already spent in custody,” he said during a televised meeting with members of his United Russia party.

We’ll update this as it develops. In the meantime, check out the protest that got the band locked up in the first place.