Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of feminist punk group Pussy Riot were sentenced last Friday to two years in prison after being found guilty of “hooliganism.” The group had performed a protest song against the repressive policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin inside a Russian Orthodox church.
The three women have been in jail since the incident occurred in Moscow back in February. Pussy Riot is known for wearing colorful outfits and ski masks to conceal their identities, but that hasn’t prevented them from creating quite a buzz around the world. Both Amnesty International and the United States government have voiced their concern over the ruling and imprisonment of these young women, and urged Russian authorities to review their decision. Support is also coming from fellow musicians like Madonna, Patti Smith and the original riot grrrl herself, Kathleen Hanna.
Russian police are currently looking for more members of the anonymous Pussy Riot band for a criminal case that is separate from the one against the three jailed performers, though no further information has been released regarding the details of the case.
Not thwarted by the imprisonment, Pussy Riot insists the trial has helped spread awareness for their cause. The publicity generated around the world has brought attention to the repressive nature of the trial, the very kind the band publicly speaks out against in their songs.