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MOSCOW, May 5 (Itar-Tass) —— Sixteen supporters and opponents of arrested Pussy Riot punk band were fined by a magistrate judge on Friday for staging unpermitted protests at Taganka district court of Moscow which extended the arrest last month.
Taganka court spokeswoman Ksenia Lyapina said the offenders were fined 500-700 rubles (8-13 US dollars) each.
On May 2 the judge fined another five activists of the Pussy Riot band also for 500-700 rubles.
The activists rallied at the Taganka court to protest the arrest of the punk band on charges of hooliganism at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
On February 21, five masked girls in brightly colored clothes appeared in the Christ the Savior Church, ran onto the ambo before the altar and performed an indecent song for several minutes using the amplifiers they had brought along. They also shouted insults against the clergy and believers, as well as against the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.
Three of the girls were later arrested for hooliganism. The incident caused mixed reaction in the country – from Inquisition-style threats up to calls to pardon the girls.
A lawyer of one of the girls said last month the investigation did not expose any hatred or feud instigations in the action of the band. It means the Pussy Riot group may be charged only with administrative offense. However the girls are still kept in custody and face hooliganism charges which envisage a maximum penalty of seven years.