Pussy Riot Members Sent to Russian Prison Over Hooliganism Conviction

Musicians from the all-girl punk band convicted for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to two years behind bars.

By Alexis L. Loinaz
|  Monday, Oct 22, 2012  |  Updated 3:39 PM CDT
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Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, Maria Alekhina, center, and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012.

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The Riot has been silenced.

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, two members of Russian all-girl punk band Pussy Riot, have been sent to prison after a judge upheld their two-year sentences for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, Reuters reports.

A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was given a suspended two year-sentence earlier this month and set free after appealing her conviction.

Russian band Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in jail for hooliganism

The trio were arrested in March after they stormed a Russian Orthodox church to perform a punk prayer "protest song" that blasted the religion's ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Samutsevich's conviction was later overturned after a court determined that the 30-year-old was stopped by a guard and never made it to the church stage where the band's other members had performed. (The other two members of the five-woman group have since fled Russia.)

Attorneys for Alyokhina, 24, and Tolokonnikova, 22, reportedly argued that both women, who had been detained in Moscow, should be allowed to serve their time in the Russian capital in order to be near their young children.

Pussy Riot member goes free, two other members' prison terms upheld

However, a lawyer for the women said that both had been dispatched to far-off prisons and that he did not yet know their exact whereabouts. According to unsubstantiated reports, Tolokonnikova had been sent to a prison 300 miles from Moscow, while Alyokhina had been taken to a facility about 700 miles away.

The band members' arrest and subsequent conviction has galvanized activists across the world, who decried the move as an affront to democracy and a violation of human rights. The group has since racked up a bevy of vehement high-profile supporters, including Madonna, Paul McCartney and Sting.

Check out other stars who've stood up for their political beliefs

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