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Jail sentence for Pussy Riot would be a tragedy, Madonna says

posted 6 Aug 2012, 12:32 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 6 Aug 2012, 12:32 ]

A jail sentence for Pussy Riot would be a tragedy as art should always be political, Madonna says ahead of her Moscow concert.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (AUGUST 6, 2012) (REUTERS) - 
Pop star Madonna, in Moscow ahead of an upcoming concert, said on Monday (August 6) a jail sentence for the three women from the anti-Putin Pussy Riot band would be a tragedy.
Weighing into a debate surrounding the trial of Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, Madonna added her voice to a number of other Western musicians, bolstering accusations by President Vladimir Putin's foes that the legal proceedings are politically motivated and a part of a wider crackdown on dissent.


The trio are on trial for storming the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral on Feb. 21 and belting out a profanity-laced "punk prayer" calling on the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin. Their stunt infuriated church leaders and the Kremlin.


Madonna, however, spoke out against the proceedings.

"I'm against censorship, and (throughout) my whole career I've always promoted freedom of expression, freedom of speech. So obviously, I think what's happening to them (Pussy Riot) is unfair. And I hope that they do not have to serve seven years in jail, that would be a tragedy," Madonna told Reuters.


"I think art should be political. I think art through history, historically speaking, art always reflects what's going on socially. So for me it's hard to separate the idea of being an artist and being political," Madonna added.


Madonna joins a number of Western governments, human rights groups and performers such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers who have criticised the prosecution of the women.


After her Moscow concert on Tuesday (August 7) Madonna is scheduled to travel to St. Petersburg for another concert on Thursday (August 9).

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