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article imagePussy Riot: Russian prosecutors demand three-year sentences

By Katerina Nikolas     Aug 7, 2012 in World
Moscow - Russian prosecutors have asked for three years' in prison for the three members of punk group Pussy Riot, that are standing trial on charges of hooliganism.
Group members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, have endured a trial reminiscent of the Inquisition, according to jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Charged with hooliganism and inciting religious hatred after performing a song in political protest against Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral, the women faced a possible seven-years in jail.
Prosecutor Alexander Nikiforov has reportedly asked for sentences of three-years for each of the women, telling the court that "three years would take into account the fact that two of the defendants are young mothers."
Nikiforov argued the women "set themselves off against the Orthodox world and sought to devalue traditions and dogmas that have been formed for the centuries." The BBC reported he urged "requisite punishment must be a real deprivation of freedom".
Vladimir Putin had earlier weighed in with his opinion on the trial that has caused sharp divisions in Russia, saying that if convicted "I don't think that they should be judged too harsh."
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