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Stars urge freedom for Pussy Riot

More than 100 leading musicians have called for the release of jailed members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot.

Amnesty International said that Adele, U2, Madonna, Yoko Ono, Radiohead, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Ke$ha, Sir Paul McCartney and Sting were among those who signed an open letter organised by the group.

The musicians say in the letter that the impact of Pussy Riot's "shockingly unjust trial and imprisonment has spread far and wide, especially among your fellow artists, musicians and citizens around the world."

They urged the Russian authorities to free 23-year old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and 25-year-old Maria Alekhina, who received two-year sentences last August for an irreverent punk protest against president Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral. Their parole appeal hearings are due this week.

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