title image for Pussy Riot

Case: Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist band that plays punk rock and protest music and stages public performances. The group came to notoriety in February 2012, when three of the band’s twelve members shot a music video at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour called “Punk Prayer: Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!”

Weeks later, under pressure from church officials, police arrested and charged Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. In August, the three were convicted, and sentenced to two years of imprisonment. The decision has been widely condemned.

In November 2013 a court in Moscow released one of the jailed band members, but confirmed the sentences of the other two. However, the other two jailed members were finally released in December 2013.