43% of Russians Say 'Pussy Riot' Prison Term Too Lenient

By Patrick Burke | October 2, 2012 | 7:24pm EDT

Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia on Monday Oct. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

(CNSNews.com) – More than 40 percent (43) of Russians polled by the independent Levada Centre view the punishment handed down to the punk band members of Pussy Riot as too “inadequate” and “corporate-owned,” according to Interfax News Agency.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich of the punk rock band Pussy Riot went to the altar of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow back in February and said a “punk prayer” to the Virgin Mary, asking to save Russia from Vladimir Putin.

The trio were later jailed and have been sentenced to prison for 2 years on charges of “hooliganism” and “inciting religious hatred.”

About 35 percent of Russian poll respondents thought the 2-year sentencing for the “punk prayer” was appropriate. Only 14 percent considered the punishment to be unreasonable.

Another 5 percent of respondents labeled the stunt as, “an artistic performance and a work of contemporary art.”

However, 88 percent admitted to actually knowing about the incident and 41 percent  categorized it as “simple hooliganism.” Additionally, 34 percent said they believe the punk band did not intend to offend the religious beliefs of others.

Nearly 30 percent categorized it as a political event and 19 percent as “a targeted attack against orthodoxy and the church.”

Musicians across the globe, including Sir Paul McCartney and Madonna, have shown support for the punk rockers after they openly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.

The punk band is slated to appeal the sentencing on Oct. 10, allowing time for one of the members to hire new lawyers.

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