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Russian Court Prolongs Detention Of Anti-Putin Punkers


Yekaterina Samutsevich (left), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (center), and Maria Alekhina behind bars before a court hearing in Moscow on July 20.

Yekaterina Samutsevich (left), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (center), and Maria Alekhina behind bars before a court hearing in Moscow on July 20.

A Moscow judge has extended for six more months the detention of the three members of the Russian female Pussy Riot punk group, who are facing possible prison sentences on charges of hooliganism.

The ruling was announced as preliminary hearings got under way in the trial of the three young women.

The trio has been in custody since March.

Prosecutors have accused the three of inflicting "deep spiritual wounds" on Orthodox Christians after a performance in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in which they denounced President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

The women -- Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Maria Alekhina -- could face seven years in prison if convicted.

Amnesty International says the women are being unfairly prosecuted and has named them “prisoners of conscience," jailed for their political views.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
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