Russia's Medvedev: Pussy Riot Should Go Free

Prime minister's stance may mean release is near
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2012 3:22 PM CDT
Russia's Medvedev: Pussy Riot Should Go Free
Members of the band Pussy Riot during their trial, which resulted in a conviction and sentence of two years in prison.   (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel, File)

(Newser) – The members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot who were thrown in prison could be freed soon after Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called for their release today, reports AP. The three women were sentenced to two years in prison in August for entering Russia's main cathedral and giving a provocative performance that included railing against Vladimir Putin.

"In my view, a suspended sentence would be sufficient, taking into account the time they have already spent in custody," Medvedev said during a televised meeting with his political party. Medvedev is lower-ranking than Putin, who is now in his third term as president, but the AP thinks that by coming out in favor of Pussy Riot's release, Medvedev can resolve the controversy without Putin appearing weak. (Read more Dmitry Medvedev stories.)

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