UK: Leading musicians call for Pussy Riot release

Several leading musicians have called on Russian president Vladimir Putin to ensure the three members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot, in court on charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, are given a fair hearing. In a letter to the Times (£) today, musicians including Alex Kapranis of rock band Franz Ferdinand, Johnny Marr of the Smiths and The Who’s Pete Townshend, said the charge against the trio was “preposterous”. “We believe firmly that it is the role of the artist to make legitimate political protest and fight for freedom of speech,” the signatories added.

Pussy Riot spoke to us exclusively in May, read the interview here.

Plus: Pussy Riot versus the religarchy – feminists punks take on Russia’s church and state