• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Pet Shop Boys Express Support for Pussy Riot in Moscow

Pussy Riot incarcerated - H 2012
Getty Images

The band’s Neil Tennant calls the two-year sentence given to two members “disproportionate.”

MOSCOW -- Members of the British pop duo Pet Shop Boys spoke is support of the jailed musicians of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot at a press conference on the eve of the band’s June 5 show at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall.

Singer Neil Tennant said that the verdict in the Pussy Riot case, under which Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are currently serving two-year prison sentences, was “disproportionate” to what they did. The musician added that he hopes the Pussy Riot members will be released soon.

Tennant also pointed to the fact that even Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said last year that the sentences for the Pussy Riot members were too harsh.

By voicing support for Pussy Riot, Pet Shop Boys have joined a strong chorus of major international artists, including Paul McCartney, Bjork, Patti Smith, Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Franz Ferdinand, Madonna and Sting.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were sentenced last August for the anti-Putin “punk prayer” at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in February 2012. A court of appeals later replaced the two-year prison term for another band member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, with a suspended sentence.

Both Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were recently denied parole.