RUSSIA-POLITICS-MUSIC-RIGHTS-PROTEST

Musician activists Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich from the feminist punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism on grounds of religious hatred” in retaliation for their brief and spirited public disobedience in song targeted at the regime of President Vladimir Putin. Their protest song of less than a minute took place in Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow in February 2012.

The sentencing drew worldwide outrage against Putin’s strong-arm tactics, only building the prominence and social capital of the band.