Moscow’s top court rejects Pussy Riot appeal

MOSCOW (AP) — Moscow’s highest court has rejected an appeal by punk group Pussy Riot against their sentence for a protest against Vladimir Putin.

Moscow City Court chair Olga Yegorova said Wednesday that she had upheld the group’s conviction last year for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and denied the case was politically motivated, Russian news agencies reported.

Pussy Riot lawyer Irina Khrunova told the Associated Press she would appeal to Russia’s supreme court.

Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich scandalized Russia after performing an impromptu protest in Moscow’s main cathedral. A Moscow court jailed all three, but Samtusevich was later released on appeal.

Alekhina went on hunger strike last week to protest what she calls an official harassment campaign against her in prison. Courts recently denied her and Tolokonnikova parole.

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