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Moscow Court To Hear Appeal By Jailed Pussy Riot Members


The Moscow city court is set to hear on October 1 an appeal by three members of the punk group Pussy Riot.

The three women were convicted in August on charges of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred, and sentenced to two years in prison for performing a song against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Orthodox cathedral.

On September 30, the Russian Orthodox Church urged the trio to repent suggesting it could help them win leniency from the court.

In a statement, the church said that if the women make statements showing "repentance and regret," their words "shouldn't be left unnoticed."

At the same time, it repeated their actions "offended the feelings of believers" and "must not go unpunished."

The jailed women's legal team and relatives voiced little hope that the sentences, which have sparked an international outcry, will be quashed or reduced at the October 1 hearing.

Their lawyers told independent television channel Dozhd that their clients "won't admit guilt."

And Stanislav Samutsevich, the father of one of the women, told Reuters news agency: "The sentence is predetermined; their repentance will not affect it in any way."
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP and dpa

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