July 5, 2013 19:55

Jailed Pussy Riot members to appeal convictions to Russia's Supreme Court

Two of the group are currently serving two-year sentences in prison

Jailed Pussy Riot members to appeal convictions to Russia's Supreme Court

Photo: PA

Lawyers representing the two jailed members of Pussy Riot are to appeal their convictions at Russia’s Supreme Court, according to Billboard.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are currently serving two year sentences for breach of public order motivated by religious hatred. The sentences were handed to them in August 2012 after the band performed their now infamous 'punk prayer' protest against President Vladimir Putin at the Cathedral of Christ The Savior in Moscow in February 2012.

Irina Khrunova, a lawyer representing the pair, has said the appeal to the Supreme Court will centre around her argument that the verdict was "illegal". No date has been set for the appeal as yet. Alyokhina will also appeal against a decision to refuse her parole in a prison colony in Russia's central Urals region on July 24.

Alyokhina recently went on hunger strike for 11 days after being denied permission to attend her parole hearing in prison. She spoke to NME exclusively from prison via videophone about her strike and revealed that she will not try and flee Russia when she is released. Click here to watch that video.

Renowned figures in the music and film industries have pledged their support to Pussy Riot with the likes of Madonna and Sir Paul McCartney both appealing to Putin to secure their release. A third member of the group, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was also imprisoned but had her sentence suspended in October.

Meanwhile, a 90 minute film entitled Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer has opened in UK cinemas today (July 5). The film, which aims to show the personal side of the band’s story, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

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