Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Pussy Riot Members Found Guilty

Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of the punk band Pussy Riot were found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" in a Moscow court on Friday. The three women, all in their 20s, were sentenced to two years in prison.

The BBC News reports that Judge Marina Syrova said that the three young women had "crudely undermined social order." The members of the Pussy Riot collective had protested the Russian Orthodox church leader's support of President Vladimir Putin by performing a "punk prayer" in a Moscow catherdral back in February. The musicians asked the Virgin Mary to "throw Putin" out of office.

The plight of Alyokhina, Samutsevich and Tolokonnikova has inspired worldwide protest under the social networking banner of #FreePussyRiot and many events have been taking place over the past week calling attention to the musicians' fate. Musicians like Björk, Peter Gabriel, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Kate Nash, Franz Ferdinand, Peaches, Sting and many more have voiced their support of the trio.

The Guardian reports that the court said: ""The Pussy Riot singers colluded under unestablished circumstances, for the purpose of offensively violating public peace in a sign of flagrant disrespect for citizens ... The women were motivated by religious enmity and hatred, and acted provocatively and in an insulting manner inside a religious building in the presence of a large number of believers."

Alyokhina, Samutsevich and Tolokonnikova have already been imprisoned for five months, since their arrest back in March.

UPDATE: The Guardian reports that Pussy Riot (a collective of about 10 musicians) has released another song, called "Putin Lights Up The Fires," following the verdict:

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