Pussy Riot Punk Band Trial Update

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When a band of female punk rockers took over Moscow's cathedral to perform an anti-Putin song, they quickly found themselves facing years in prison. Now, musicians around the world are trying to convince Russian authorities that singing in church shouldn't be a crime.


Part Two of The Current

Pussy Riot Punk Band Trial Update

We started this segment with an excerpt of the Pussy Riot song that has placed members of the Russian band in custody. A song not to everyone's taste for sure -- and certainly not to the taste of the Russian Orthodox Church or the Russian legal system. This week, three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot may find out if they'll go to prison for their unauthorized performance of an anti-Vladimir Putin song in Moscow's cathedral.

Prosecutors call it hooliganism and are asking for a three year sentence. Critics call it a show trial that speaks volumes about the state of President Putin's Russia. The band has some high-profile supporters, including Madonna.

There are six members of Pussy Riot. Three who do not face charges are speaking out about their mission ... though they are doing it anonymously, from behind balaclavas. We aired a part of an interview with the British newspaper, The Guardian.

The band members facing prison are stoic about the time they've already spent in jail so far. And their outlook is decidedly -- Russian. We heard from Nadezdha Tolokonnikova, facing a stiff prison term for hooliganism.

A ruling could come any time. And for the latest on the trial, we were joined by The Christian Science Monitor's Russia Correspondent Fred Weir. He was in Razdori, just outside Moscow.

Pussy Riot Punk Band Trial Update

Amnesty International is calling for the immediate release of the three band members and it has enlisted high-profile musicians such as Sting to join the campaign.

John Dalhuisen is Amnesty International's Director for Europe and Central Asia. He was in London, England.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry and Tendisai Cromwell.

Last Word - Canadian hurdler Perdita Felicien

We've been talking this morning about the devoted parents who help their children become elite athletes or perhaps give them a bit of a nudge in that direction. Today's Last Word goes to Canadian hurdler Perdita Felicien... who credits her mother's nagging with getting her on track and off to a world championship.


Other segment from today's show:

Parents of Olympians Taking Centre Stage

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