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After a protest of the then presidential candidate Valdimir Putin, the feminist punk band Pussy Riot was detained in February for "hooliganism."
The three women, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, are now facing two years in prison for chanting "Mother Mary, drive Putin away" at Christ the Savior Cathedral.
Amnesty International has stated that the women are to be considered prisoners of conscience for their peaceful protest and the draconian punishment they now face.
Five months after they were thrown in prison, the women finally received their first trial.
Though two of the women are mothers to small children, the women's detention was extended for an additional six months. They were then sentenced to two years in prison.
The muddy relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and government has created serious conflict in the trial and sentencing of these three women.
Tell Putin: Free Pussy Riot!
We the undersigned ask you to free Pussy Riot from incarceration.
Their peaceful protest was simply met with unjust punishment.
The women face up to seven years in prison for "hooliganism", and this is unacceptable.
When citizens can express and protest peacefully, the judicial system and government should not intercept this expression with harsh punishment.
Pussy Riot should be commended for their courage, but more importantly, their ability to make a statement without putting others in danger.
We ask you to release Pussy Riot immediately.
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