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Russians divided on Pussy Riot jail term

Saturday, August 18, 2012 - 01:18

Aug. 18 - A day after members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were jailed for hooliganism, Muscovites weigh in on the controversial decision. Andrew Raven reports.

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This is the Russian punk band Pussy Riot - rocking out in one of Moscow's most famous cathedrals. On Friday, the performance netted these three band members two years in jail for hooliganism and inciting religious hatred. Because they railed against Russian president Vladimir Putin, some said the verdict was politically motivated. But many Russians on Saturday said it was fair. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN RESIDENT ALEXANDER, SAYING: "I think it was fair in that it was an insult to all believers. If they were really carrying out a political action, they should have carried it out next to the Duma or in Red Square, but here, it's an insult to all Christians." Others called the two-year jail term harsh. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN RESIDENT IGOR, SAYING: "I think they should have been given some sort of administrative punishment, a fine, maybe a 15-day detention. But two years is a very cruel verdict." Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox Church urged the state to show mercy to Pussy Riot, raising the possibility it could back a pardon or a reduced sentence for band members.

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Russians divided on Pussy Riot jail term

Saturday, August 18, 2012 - 01:18