Updated 8/17/2012- The three members of Pussy Riot were found guilty of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison.
Former Beatle Paul McCartney penned a letter Tuesday to a Russian girl band supporting their decision to perform an anti-government "Punk Prayer" inside a church and emphasized the importance of free speech.
McCartney noted posted on his website stated,
"Dear Nadya, Katya & Masha (SIC),
I'm writing to show my suppport for you at this difficult time. I would like you to know that I very much hope the Russian authorities would support the principle of free speech for all their citizens and not feel that they have to punish you for your protest. Many people in the civilized world are allowed to voice their opinions and as long as they do not hurt anyone in doing so I believe this is the best way forward for all societies. I hope you can stay strong and believe that I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom.
Wishing you the best of luck,
National Public Radio reported that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevichirl, members of feminist rock group Pussy Riot, were arrested after they stormed "one of Moscow's main Russian Orthodox cathedrals" in February. Once inside the church, they performed a profanity-laced song both criticizing the Russian Orthodox Church and calling on the Virgin Mary to oust Russian President Vladimir Putin from office.
The girls have been charged with "hooliganism" and could be emprisoned for seven years.
Celebrities such as singer Madonna and actress Alicia Silverstone have publically stood up for the band members.
The band members will be sentenced tomorrow.