U.S. State Dept. Issues Statement on Pussy Riot Sentencing

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For those who haven't been following the story, a Russian punk band called Pussy Riot was arrested several months ago after the band filmed a short video of its members clad in neon colored ski masks, performing "a punk prayer," in a Russian Orthodox church. The prayer was a fairly direct criticism of the Putin administration.

Pussy Riot was put on trial for hooliganism, a charge punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Today the band was sentenced to two years in prison for the act.

Social media and the blogosphere exploded with criticism for the conviction. Artists like Billy Bragg and Peaches released statements of support.

But also jumping into the conversation was the U.S. State Dept., which issued the below statement.

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