Lawyer appeals punk band Russian jail sentence

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pussy riot Lawyer appeals punk band Russian jail sentence

“Pussy Riot” band members: Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (l-r), display their guilty verdict on charges of hooliganism from inside courtroom, Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo)

MOSCOW (AP) – An attorney for three members of the Pussy Riot punk band says she has appealed the verdict of a Moscow court that sentenced the women to two years each in jail.

The women were put on trial after performing a “punk prayer” at Moscow’s Christ the Savior cathedral in which they called on the Virgin Mary to deliver Russia from its leader, Vladimir Putin.

Lawyer Violetta Volkova said the appeal was submitted to the Khamovniki district court Monday.

The punk rockers’ trial caused an international furor, and celebrities including Paul McCartney, Madonna and Peter Gabriel have called for the women to be freed.

The pursuit of the band members has further highlighted the Kremlin‘s spiraling crackdown on the opposition and critics since Putin returned to presidency in May.

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