Madonna has added her voice to the host of musicians supporting Russian punk band Pussy Riot, who are currently on trial for ‘hooliganism’.
The pop singer told AP:
I’m against censorship, so I hope that the judge is lenient with them and that they are freed soon.
Three members of the Russian punk collective have been in detention since their arrest in March following an impromptu gig at Moscow’s Christ The Saviour Cathedral as a protest against the Orthodox Christian church’s support for Russian president Vladimir Putin. They face up to seven years in jail.
One of the imprisoned members of Pussy Riot recently spoke out about their case, claiming they are not “enemies of Christianity”. “Pussy Riot never means to show any disrespect to any viewers or witnesses of our punk concerts,” Nadia Tolokonikovoy wrote in an essay published on Free Pussy Riot.
She continued: “The themes of our songs and performances are dictated by the present moment. We simply react to what is happening in our country, and our punk performances express the opinion of a sufficiently large number of people.”
Yesterday, one of the lawyers representing Pussy Riot said their criminal trial is one of “the most shameful” in modern Russian history.
Johnny Marr, Alex Kapranos, Kate Nash and many other artists signed a letter calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release the detained members of the band. Putin himself, meanwhile, claimed last week that the three detainees should not be judged too severely for their actions.
To read Alex Kapranos’ piece on Pussy Riot, pick up a copy of this week’s NME, which is available on newsstands from Wednesday (August 8) or digitally.