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Russia’s Supreme Court has criticised the guilty verdicts in the Pussy Riot case and ordered a review of the ruling that convicted three members of the punk protest group of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” after the band staged a provocative performance that criticised the Russian government  in a Moscow cathedral in August 2012 Two of the three, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were jailed. The Supreme Court has now said that the prosecution in the case failed to demonstrate that the defendants were motivated by hatred towards a specific social group, which, appeal judges said last week, is necessary for this ruling. The Supreme Court added that judges in the lower court should also have considered that Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were mothers with young children when sentencing them. The ruling comes alongside the recently announced amnesty bill’ y put forward to the country’s parliament by premier Vladimir Putin, which aims to show leniency on the twentieth anniversary of the Russian Constitution (and remove embarrassing Russian court rulings before next year’s Winter Olympics in Russia) could also lead to the Pussy Riot two being freed early although with just three months left to run on both protestors’ sentences, any ruling will have little effect on the two year custodial sentence’s Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova received.

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/russias-supreme-court-orders-review-of-pussy-riot-verdicts-20131212