Russian PM Calls for Release of Pussy Riot

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Russian punk band Pussy Riot rose to international prominence after the group was put on trial and sentenced to seventwo years in prison for a YouTube performance it made in a cathedral that was highly critical of president Vladimir Putin's regime.

But now, the AP is reporting that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called for the band's release at an upcoming appeal hearing, saying that a prison term would be unproductive.

From the AP:

The outward appearance of the women, who perform in bright-colored miniskirts and balaclavas, and the "hysteria" accompanying them made him sick, Medvedev said with disdain. But he said 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 in the city of Penza.

The AP article also posited that Medvedev may be pushing for the release to move the case and all the criticism of rising autocracy in Russia behind them, but to do so without making Putin look weak.

The full article can be read here.

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