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Finnish Jazzman Cancels Shows Over Pussy Riot


A prominent Finnish jazzman has canceled concerts in Russia in protest of the imprisonment and prosecution of three members of the female punk group Pussy Riot.

Iiro Rantala, whose concerts in Moscow were scheduled for December, said on Twitter that he does not want to perform in a country where "freedom of speech is on the level of medieval ages."

Several Western musicians and rock groups, including British singer Sting, have earlier expressed solidarity with the trio, whose trial begins July 30 in Moscow.

The three young women were arrested in March after they staged a performance at Christ the Savior Cathedral in which they denounced President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

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

Based on reporting by rosbalt.ru and yle.fi

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