August 17th, 2012
07:32 AM ET

Report: Pussy Riot band members found guilty of hooliganism

[Updated 7:32 a.m. ET] A court in Russia found three members of a punk rock band, Pussy Riot, guilty Friday on charges of hooliganism, Russia's state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported. The three women were brought to trial after they performed a song critical of President Vladimir Putin in a cathedral in Moscow.

[Posted 4:29 a.m. ET] A Russian court is due to give a verdict Friday in the trial of three members of the female punk rock band Pussy Riot, who face up to seven years in prison for performing a song critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Pussy Riot members were charged after screaming "Mother Mary please drive Putin away" during a concert inside Christ Savior Cathedral, one of Moscow's grandest houses of worship, in February.

Their action outraged many of Russia's faithful, but their trial on charges of hooliganism has prompted international concern about freedom of speech in Russia.

Madonna last week performed Pussy Riot-style in a face mask and with the group's name on her back during a packed Moscow gig.

"Everyone has the right to free speech, everywhere in the world. Maria, Katya, Nadia, I pray for you," Madonna said at Tuesday's concert, according to RIA Novosti. "They did something brave with their action. And I am praying for their freedom."

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • World
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. sportreform

    Da, the cruel boot heel of oppression.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. PaulC

    When dealing with a dictatorial gov. be careful. Everyone should be well aware of Putin's reputation and ego.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. FreeAmerika

    yay deMOCKracy

    August 17, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. greg

    i;m sure Madonna big mouth had something to do with the sentencing,Moscow don't like some foul mouthed pig singer tellin them whats right or wrong,i can't stand that woman, but,that's just me, now these girls are doing hard time and i can't help wonder if Madonna had something to do with that...

    August 17, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      I'm pretty sure your intense irrational hatred of madonna isn't shared by the russian courts.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nodule

    That's what you get with your tomfoolery and shenanigans.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Think Twice

      Good response! What the hell is "Hooliganism"? Give me a break!! Putins a murph!!

      August 17, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. DMcC

    And we want Russia to host the next Olympics.....why? If there are acts against basic freedoms it is totally against what the Olympics stands for.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • vasia

      why dont you exercise your basic freedom – go into St. Pauls Cathedral, put a face mask on and dance on the altar.
      Let me know when I can come and time how long it will take you to get to Rykers.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      What exactly do you think the Olympics stands for?

      August 17, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • mohey

      Freedom do do what you want in the street not in other people worship place .. I think a lot of american mis-use or misunderstand the meaning of freedom .... why don't you go to a mosque in the US and sing inside to protest what is the Muslims do in all over the world of killing .... can you do that ... be honest with yourself

      August 17, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Good point! We'll repeat what we did in 1980 by boycotting their Olympics again!

      August 17, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. AlwaysGunny

    Obama buddy Putin hates freedom. Just like Obama. Dumb libs hate free speech.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • King

      Yeah.....and repukes love to lie. looks like it all balances out.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Chaos

      "Obama buddy Putin hates freedom. Just like Obama. Dumb libs hate free speech."

      Its interesting how you characterize others as dumb in a post of this nature. (hint: I just called you dumb)

      August 17, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Gunny?

      What does this have to do with Obama? You're a dope- for sure. And, I assume a Republican? Obviously, a VERY big dope.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • EMcK

      "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country." – George W. Bush

      Sounds to me like Bush and Putin (or Vladmir as Bush called him) were pretty buddy buddy.

      As to members of the Obama administration regarding Putin: ". . . he was a KGB agent. By definition he doesn't have a soul." – Hillary Clinton

      Obama and Putin are far from friends.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Liberals don't hate your free speech. What we hate is when you use derogatory connotations to divide and spread your bigotry and hate and undermine our democracy. There's a difference you tepuglican fool.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Black Seven

    Ha, Ha!! Funny. Wasn't there an article run just yesterday that condemned the ICP for this very same thing? Now because Vlad Putin and Punk Rockers are involved it's different? Sad, very sad. Hipocracy at it's best. Only now we say it's bad because Russia did it instead of our own FBI and the war Criminal Obama. Can someone say media bias.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jim

    Yeah, lets drag Obama in to this. otherwise it would not be an afficial CNN thread! Dork

    August 17, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    official

    August 17, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. CR

    This is what we have to look forward to in America as the left takes over the country.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. keith

    In this country Ted Nugent goes on stage on a regular basis and threatens our president with violence and no charges our brought against him, but conservatives are cry babies and try and compare Obama to Putin, claiming "liberals hate free speech".

    August 17, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Chaos

      Like.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • AlwaysGunny

      Ted nugent was actaully silenced and told to stop or he WOULD be arrested. So yea dumb libs hate freedom. Nthanks for making my point.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • keith

      @AlwaysGunny And yet videos surface of his concerts all the time on youtube where he is still saying the same things and spouting off his nutty conspiracy theories. BTW, it is illegal in this country to threaten the president in any way.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jim

    Black Seven..I was responding to AlwaysGunny.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jeremy mills

    This article really should make it more clear that they weren't simply arrested for saying something critical of Putin during their concert. They were arrested for running into an Orthodox church during service and putting on a shoe without permission from the owners of the church.

    If they receive 7 years for this than I agree that is far too severe for trespassing, but an American rock group who bursts into a church during service would likely also be arrested for trespassing.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Asturiano

    What the hell is 'hooliganism'? Is this just a convenient way to say the state has a right to discriminate against the free speech rights of its citizens.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
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