Russian PM Calls for Release of Pussy Riot

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A happy ending could yet be in sight for three members of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot,  jailed for a guerrilla performance inside a Moscow cathedral that was critical of President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called on Wednesday for the release of the three women -- Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29 -- according to an AP report.

The women had already spent five months in jail when they were sentenced in August to two years for "hooliganism driven by religious hatred." The verdict was the culmination of a trial that had captured the world's attention and drew criticism from artists like Madonna, Paul McCartney and Bjork.

"In my view, a suspended sentence would be sufficient, taking into account the time they have already spent in custody," Medvedev said television while meeting with members of his United Russia party.

The stance could pave the way for an early release for the women, whose case comes up for appeal on Oct. 1. 

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