MOSCOW, August 17 - RAPSI. Pussy Riot members Natalia Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich have been found guilty of hooliganism.
Three members of the Pussy Riot punk rock collective face up to seven years imprisonment in a case that has courted heated controversy worldwide. While sentencing will ultimately be within the judge's discretion, prosecutors requested last week that each of the defendants face three years imprisonment - less than the statutory maximum.
Group members Natalia Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich have remained in detention since their early March arrests for an incident that some have lauded as a valid exercise of free speech, and that others have lambasted as blasphemous.
On February 21, 2012 five girls wearing brightly colored balaclavas stormed the altar of downtown Moscows Christ the Savior Cathedral to perform a protest song entitled, "Holy Sh*t." Shortly thereafter, an edited video of the performance that was uploaded to the Internet incited a major public outcry.