On Friday, a judge in Russian found the Pussy Riot provocative punk rock band guilty of hooliganism. Human rights groups watched the trial of the three member punk band closely across the globe.
The judges said hooliganism had been committed by the three members of the band that was driven by hatred of religion. The three had been originally arrested back in March following one of their guerrilla performances in the main cathedral of Moscow in February. They had called for Virgin Mary to protect the country against Vladimir Putin, who a few days later was elected to his second term as the president of Russia.
The three were sentenced by the judge to two years of prison late Friday following the trial. The trial and sentencing has drawn huge international outrage as an example of Russia’s continual intolerance for dissent.
Protests across the world were sparked by the trial in support of the female band members, who were dubbed by international rights groups as prisoners of conscience. Many of their supporters outside the courtroom chanted against Putin by saying “Russia without Putin,” amidst a strong police presence around the courthouse. A number of opposition leaders were detained, including Garry Kasparov the former world chess champion.
Marina Syrova, the Judge, said that the members of the band had committed hooliganism and offended many religious believers. She declined the arguments of the women that they only were protesting the support given to Putin by the Orthodox Church and did not intend to hurt the believers’ feelings.
The three defendants were held handcuffed inside a glass cage during the three-hour trial and verdict. They remained calm following the sentencing.