Russian clerics 'forgive' Pussy Riot for Putin tirade
Moscow, Aug. 19 (ANI): Two top Russian Orthodox Church clerics have said they have forgiven the protest group Pussy Riot for briefly taking over the cathedral during a demonstration against President Vladimir Putin.
Tikhon Shevkunov, who heads Moscow's Sretensky Monastery and is believed to be Putin's spiritual counsellor, said on state TV that his church forgave the singers for the incident.
Arch priest Maxim Kozlov agreed, but added that his church hopes the young women and their supporters 'realise that their acts are awful', Sky News reports.
According to the report, both clerics, however, supported a court's decision to prosecute Pussy Riot, despite an international outcry criticizing it to be unfair.
Three Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were sentenced to two years' prison after being convicted of hooliganism, the report said.
Judge Marina Syrova said the three young protesters showed a 'clear disrespect towards society by staging a 'Punk Prayer', the report added.
According to the report, the three members of the Pussy Riot group called on the Virgin Mary to remove Putin from power in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow in March.
The U.S. called the sentences 'disproportionate', while Britain, France and the European Union said that the punishment was excessive and questioned Russia's rights record, the report added. (ANI)
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