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Prominent culture figures step up for Pussy Riot

June 27, 2012, 15:28 UTC+3

Famous actors and directors call for release of the punk-band members, as they file an open letter to the Moscow Supreme Court.

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More than a hundred of prominent Russian culture figures signed an open letter to support the members of a punk-band Pussy Riot arrested over their performance at Moscow’s major Christ the Savior Cathedral in February.They argue the girls did not commit a criminal offence and should bear responsibility under administrative law, and demand their release.“We believe the criminal case against Pussy Riot compromises the Russian judicial system and undermines confidence in the government institutions on the whole," the letter says.Among the signatories were figures who openly supported President Vladimir Putin in the last election, including Chulpan Khamatova, a popular actress and co-founder of the Gift of Life charity, and actor and theater director Evgeny Mironov. Overall, the list of Pussy Riot supporters includes 103 musicians, actors, filmmakers, singers and other cultural figures.On February 21, several Pussy Riot members, wearing masks to cover their faces, burst into Moscow’s main Christ the Savior Cathedral and yelled out the song criticizing the Church and the government. A criminal case was opened in March and three band members – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Ekaterina Samutsevich – were arrested.

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