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Court Backs Extended Detention Of Anti-Putin Rockers

A combo photo of Yekaterina Samutsevich (left), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Maria Alyokhina
A judge in Moscow City Court has backed the extended detention of three members of the female punk group Pussy Riot, who are facing charges of committing hooliganism inside Russia's most revered Orthodox church.

The judge rejected an appeal by defense lawyers challenging a lower court's decision to jail the trio until at least June 24 as authorities pursue the legal case against them.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested February 21 after staging a performance against Vladimir Putin's 12-year rule in Russia inside Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

The human rights group Amnesty International has described the three young women as prisoners of conscience who have been unjustly jailed.

Based on reporting by Interfax and RFE/RL’s Russian Service