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July, 24

Stars urge freedom for Pussy Riot

Stars urge freedom for Pussy Riot

Adele, Madonna and Sir Paul McCartney are among a group of music stars leading a new call for the release of jailed members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot.

Amnesty International said more than 100 leading musicians, including U2, Yoko Ono, Radiohead, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Kesha and Sting, had signed an open letter organised by the group.

The musicians say in the letter that the impact of Pussy Riot's "shockingly unjust trial and imprisonment has spread far and wide, especially among your fellow artists, musicians and citizens around the world".

They urged the Russian authorities to free 23-year old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and 25-year-old Maria Alekhina, who received two-year sentences last August for an irreverent punk protest against president Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral. Their parole appeal hearings are due this week.

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