Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Bryan Adams, Thom Yorke and Madonna (Images: AP)
More than 100 musicians and bands have signed an open letter from Amnesty International calling for the release of the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot.
Among the individuals and groups who have signed the letter are Bryan Adams, Radiohead, Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Arcade Fire, The Clash, The Hidden Cameras, Patti Smith, Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Alanis Morissette, Pete Townshend, U2, and Madonna.
It's addressed directly to Masha Alyokhina and Nadia Tolokonnikova, the two members of the group who remain in prison.
The letter begins by assuring the women that "around the world, people are still thinking of you and working for your release," and states that "the impact of your shockingly unjust trial and imprisonment has spread far and wide, especially among your fellow artists, musicians and citizens around the world."
It wraps up by telling Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova "your strength, bravery and fearlessness are an inspiration to us all."
"The Pussy Riot case has shocked musicians all over the world and we've had an incredible response to the call to sign this letter," said Lucy Macnamara, Communications Manager for Art for Amnesty International.
One reason for the letter's timing is the approaching one-year anniversary of the band members' trial, which began on July 30, 2012.
There are parole hearings scheduled this week for both women: Alekhina, 25, will have her hearing Wednesday, while Tolokonnikova, 23, is scheduled for Friday.
Three members of the group (the third was Yekaterina Samutsevich) were charged with "premeditated hooliganism performed by an organized group of people motivated by religious hatred or hostility" after they played a song called 'Punk Prayer - Mother of God Drive Putin Away' inside Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
All three were sentenced to two years in prison. Samutsivich was released on probation in October after her lawyer argued that she had been stopped by cathedral guards before getting her guitar out of its case.
Via Associated Press