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Paul McCartney sends message of support to Pussy Riot

Paul McCartney sends message of support to Pussy Riot

Paul McCartney has sent a message of support to Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk band who face three years in prison for staging a protest against President Vladimir Putin inside a Moscow church.

The message, which appears on the homepage for McCartney's website, reads:

"I'm writing to show my support for you at this difficult time. I would like you to know that I very much hope the Russian authorities would support the principle of free speech for all their citizens and not feel that they have to punish you for your protest. Many people in the civilised world are allowed to voice their opinions and as long as they do not hurt anyone in doing so I believe this is the best way forward for all societies. I hope you can stay strong and believe that I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom."

The Pussy Riot case, which has been seen as a watermark of the Vladimir Putin's desire to crack down on dissent in Russia, has attracted global attention, with Madonna throwing her weight behind the three women at her concert in Moscow this week, and a host of artists including Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos, Jarvis Cocker, St Vincent, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers backing their plight.

Judge Marina Syrova is due to begin reading her verdict on Friday [August 17]. According to The Telegraph, a spokesman for the district court hearing the case said today [August 16] that Syrova has been placed under state protection after receiving threats from Pussy Riot supporters.


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