One Member of Pussy Riot Released from Prison

One Member of Pussy Riot Released from Prison
As previously reported, the appeal process for jailed Russian rockers Pussy Riot was scheduled to begin on October 1. This morning (October 10), the BBC reported that one member has been released.

Yekaterina Samutsevich's two-year jail sentence has been suspended, though fellow band members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are expected to serve the remainder of their sentences in a prison colony.

Originally found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred," the trio insisted at the appeal that their protest was political and not directed towards the church.

Samutsevich's lawyer successfully argued that she had been thrown out of the church before even taking her guitar out of its case.

According to the BBC, defence lawyer Mark Feigin said, "We're glad that Yekaterina Samutsevich has been freed, but we think the other two girls should also be released."

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev previously called for the members' release when he said, "The punishment they have already endured being held in prison conditions for a quite significant time is fully enough to make them think about what happened, because of their stupidity or some other reasons."

President Vladimir Putin, however, defended the decision on Russian television last week, saying, "It's right that they were arrested, it's right that the court took that decision, because you can't undermine the foundations of morality, our moral values, destroy the country."

Watch Peaches' protest video "Free Pussy Riot" below.