Russian Prime Minister Calls for Pussy Riot's Release

Russian Prime Minister Calls for Pussy Riot's Release
Good news for Pussy Riot and their supporters: A surprise announcement from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev states that the three imprisoned members of the political punk project could be set free as soon as October 1 at their appeals hearing.

In a televised meeting with members of his United Russia party [via Associated Press], the PM explained that having already spent five months in prison (between the pre-trial captivity and since the August 17 sentencing), any more time served by the band members would be unproductive.

"In my view, a suspended sentence would be sufficient, taking into account the time they have already spent in custody," Medvedev 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."

He added that he was sickened by the "hysteria" accompanying the group.

It's been almost a month since three members of Russian political punks Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for performing a "punk prayer" in a Moscow church earlier this year. What followed after the judgement was a worldwide backlash that has found countless musicians and activists critiquing the Russian court system, not to mention President Vladimir Putin's regime, for the harsh judgement.

Despite the good news for Pussy Riot and their fans, it's still too soon to say just when the band's Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samusevich could actually be set free.

In the meantime, if you're wanting to pitch in for the Free Pussy Riot cause, you can still order a copy of PUSSY RIOT! A Punk Prayer for Freedom, a new e-book featuring prison letters, closing statements from the trial, and tributes from the likes of Yoko Ono, Le Tigre/MEN members JD Samson and Johanna Fateman, and more. It will apparently be published sometime in the next two weeks.