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. Scott Pilgrim

    This is the best headline ever.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lou Cypher

    In other news, the band won several more awards for Coolest Name of an All-Girl Rock Band Ever.

    It just doesn't get better than that.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. cblinkov

    They were not critical of Putin. They defamed the holiest of cathedrals in Russia. Imagine Madonna defecating on the 9/11 memorial. That would be roughly comparable in effect.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      There are little boys being molested in the Catholic church. I believe that is alot more serious tham a harmless group singing a song that doesn't promote violence or threaten to undermine an establishment.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Since when has Russia been a hotbed of Religious fanaticism? Obviously if the church's leadership hadn't been involved politically with Putin's reelection this whole incident would have been run through their courts months ago. It makes both the church and Putin look petty

      August 17, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. lucidguy

    Silly twits watched too much American media. Forgot they were in mother Russia. Russia doesn't want to be another American puppet, get it through your thick skulls!

    August 17, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. CA$H

    Everyone should be so quick to judge.....If you didnt witness it 1st hand,just saying....Sweep under your own rug!!

    August 17, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    These charges are so ludicrous especially here in the 21st century where the Cold War is long over and Russia has tried to change its Cold War image where it ruled with an iron fist and locked down on free speech. There are Chechnyan rebels threatening to escalate their terrorist campaign across Russian and all Putin can worry about is a harmless group expressing their artistic views just for the purpose of entertainment and nothing else? Come on Mr. Putin, let's loosen up and send the girls home.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. jamest297

    Only one day a week – The rest of the week she does not pray and she gets the same results.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. weezer

    Satan is afraid of Madonna. Only Chuck Norris can stand up to her.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bongoâ„¢

    No sense in hooliganism. Just say no.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. GenXcynic

    This is a bunch of BS. How do you let a band with this name perform in "one of Moscow's grandest houses of worship..." and then complain about what they said?

    However, sucks about the jail time but if you have to be convicted of something, hooliganism is a pretty cool resume bullet, especially for a punk band!

    August 17, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Talkic Social

    Remember when everyone was up in arms over the Barenaked Ladies band name? Times they are a changing.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mark

    Three young women, whose band name is vulgar, rush into a Holy Church in Moscow and perform a rude and obscene song on the alter that is offensive to those in attendance at the Church. This is not "freedom of speech". This is a hate crime and a trespass of property. If the KKK walked into a Black Baptist Church in the South and started spouting filth against Obama and burned a cross, it would be prosecuted as a hate crime. Punk rock, Madonna, the KKK or whatever other type of filth regarded as "artistic expression" to make a point is just that, filth with the intent of mocking the beliefs of people. Whatever happened to modesty and decency as values to uphold in public discourse?

    August 17, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    Well, their guilty of having a funny name...
    Funny place to have an impromptu concert, also...did they do it a capella?
    As for Madonna, no, dear, free speech should be a world-wide right; it is guaranteed in the US, but Russia is FAMOUS for stifling free speech.

    August 17, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jerry

    That's not right they should have never been charged or put on trial let alone sentenced to jail time.

    August 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    Don't you care?

    August 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
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