Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Irish fans join protest against Russian Pussy Riot trial

Members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot have won the support of Sir Paul McCartney ahead of a verdict in their hooliganism trial (AP)

Irish protesters yesterday demonstrated against the prosecution of a Russian punk band on trial in Moscow for hooliganism, write Mark Hilliard and Tom Parfitt.

The three female members of Pussy Riot are in custody and due to hear the court's verdict today.

Their trial is seen as an attempt by the state to stamp out criticism of the government in a throwback to the Soviet era.

Thirty people protested at the Spire in Dublin yesterday as part of a worldwide series of demonstrations.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (22), Maria Alekhina (24) and Katya Samutsevich (30) face up to seven years in jail over what critics say was a prosecution initiated by President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.

The women were arrested after dancing a can-can in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral while wearing brightly-coloured costumes and balaclavas.

During the performance they said: "Mother of God, drive out Putin!"

Paul McCartney and Madonna are among stars who have voiced their support for the band.

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