Pussy Riot thank supporters from prison

The three imprisoned members of the punk collective say they are 'joyful' to hear people are supporting their plight

Pussy Riot thank supporters from prison

Photo: PA

Pussy Riot have thanked their supporters from prison.

Three members of the band - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich - have been in pre-trial detention since March of this year, after they staged a protest against Russian President Vladmir Putin. On Friday (July 20), a court ruled that the three women will remain in custody until January 12, 2013.

In a letter posted on Ekho Moskvy radio, the band members said that what the Russian government deems as "insolence and impudence" is a sarcastic response to a lack of justice, AP reports.

"We are joyful to hear about those who support us in our trial," they wrote. "And we don't understand the toughness and rudeness of opponents. We aren't supporters of violence, and we don't bear a grudge against anyone. Our laughter is mixed with tears, and our sarcasm is a reaction to abuse of law."

Earlier this week, a Russian artist sewed his mouth together in support of three members of the group. Petr Pavlensky stood in front of St Petersburg's Kazan Cathedral holding a banner reading 'Pussy Riot act is a replay of a famous act by Jesus Christ'.

Franz Ferdinand and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have also voiced support for the band at gigs in Moscow.

Pussy Riot face up to seven years in jail on hooliganism charges after they were arrested following an impromptu performance at Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral, where they sang a song called 'Holy Shit' as a protest against the Orthodox Christian church's alleged support for Putin. Although Putin regained power in the last Russian election, the verdict has been marred by accusations of fraud by his competitors.

Shortly before their arrest, members of Pussy Riot spoke to NME, calling Putin's reaction to their church protest "childish". "We knew what the political situation was but now we're personally feeling the full force of Putin's Kafka-esque machine," they said. "The state's policy is based on a minimum of critical thinking and on a maximum of spite, and a desire to get even with those who don't please it."

Amnesty International have called for the release of band members, arguing that they are "prisoners of conscience".

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