Russian punk rockers in jail for anti-Putin prayer
MOSCOW - The Associated Press
Police officers detain Radical leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov (top L) in the central Arbat area in Moscow, on March 10, 2012, shortly after an anti-Putin rally. AFP photoA court in Moscow has extended the arrest of two members of a female punk rock band that has performed in Russia's main Orthodox cathedral praying to Virgin Mary to deliver the nation from Vladimir Putin's third presidency.
Five masked members of the band briefly seized the pulpit of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in late February to chant "Mother Mary, drive Putin away." Two rockers were arrested and face up to seven years in jail for "hooliganism." The Orthodox Church has condemned their performance as "blasphemous."
Moscow City Court spokeswoman Anna Usacheva said Wednesday that Mariya Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will remain under arrest until late April. Their attorneys said the women declared a hunger strike in protest.
Pussy Riot gained notoriety in January for performing an anti-Putin song on Red Square.