Russia Court Frees 1 Member of Pussy Riot

Two others still facing 2-year sentence are defiant at appeal hearing

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 10, 2012 6:46 AM CDT | Updated Oct 10, 2012 7:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – A trio of judges has freed one of the three members of the Russian activist punk rock group Pussy Riot, while the other two still face up to two years in prison following their raucous anti-Putin protest at the altar of Moscow's main cathedral, reports the BBC. The bandmates were largely unrepentant today, vocally criticizing Vladimir Putin and the Russian justice system even during their appeal. Yekaterina Samutsevich, however, was freed on her contention that guards threw her out of the cathedral before she could remove her guitar from its case.

Bandmate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova denied the charge of political hatred, saying, "it's as clear as daylight that this was a political act, not anti-religious. I ask you to quash this sentence." Maria Alyokhina, meanwhile, warned that if their sentences were upheld, "we won't stay silent—even in Mordovia, or Siberia—however uncomfortable that is for you." She added that their apologies had been ignored, but demands for their repentance are akin to blackmail.

Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich stands surrounded by press outside a court in Moscow, Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012.
Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich stands surrounded by press outside a court in Moscow, Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)
Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich speaks outside a court in Moscow, Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012.
Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich speaks outside a court in Moscow, Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)
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