Pussy Riot members will face two years in prison [updated]

The Moscow Khamovnichesky Court has pronounced its verdict in the case against  Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, who will face two years in prison, starting from the moment of their arrest.

The Pussy Riot punk group singers, who have been found guilty by the Khamovnichesky Court, were motivated by hatred and religious enmity, the court verdict says.

"The Pussy Riot singers colluded under unestablished circumstances, for the purpose of offensively violating public peace in a sign of flagrant disrespect for citizens," the court said in a verdict being pronounced on Friday.

The women were motivated by religious enmity and hatred, and acted provocatively and in an insulting manner inside a religious building in the presence of a large number of believers," the court said.

The court has found that the Pussy Riot activists realized that their actions during the "punk prayer" in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior were insulting and intended to communicate information on the stunt to a broad range of believers.

"Intending to make the planned actions public and ensure that they drew public response, to draw the attention of the public to their illegal actions, and to communicate the expressed disrespect not only to the clergy and people in the church, but also to other citizens who were not present in the church at the time [of the punk prayer], but shared Orthodox traditions, Samutsevich, Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina, and their unidentified accomplice informed various media assistants and active bloggers on their action," the sentence read in the Khamovnichesky Court on Friday says.

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