Pussy Riot Found Guilty Of Hooliganism [UPDATED]

By: Julie Gerstein / August 17, 2012

A judge found three members of Pussy Riot — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich — guilty of “hooliganism,” while hundreds of people protested outside the courthouse, calling for “Russia without Putin.” The judge in the case, Marina Syrova, said the three defendants “committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred.”  The sentence has yet to be handed down, but Putin himself has publicly called for leniency in sentencing, though many believe he wishes to make an example out of the punk collective.

The women have been held in prison awaiting trial for the past five months, and prosecutors in the case have asked for a three year sentence, though they could face up to seven years, according to Russian law. The women of Pussy Riot have amassed an international cadre of supporters, including musicians Bjork and Madonna, actress Chloe Sevingy, and even Russian chess champion Gary Kasparov.

UPDATE: The women received a sentence of two years in jail, with the judge saying that they had “crudely undermined social order.” [Huffington Post]