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Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's prime minister, says free Pussy Riot

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has spoken out against Pussy Riot's sentence.

Dmitry Medvedev 7 3 2012Enlarge
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits the Pacific port of Vladivostok, on July 2, 2012. (DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Pussy Riot has gained the support of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He spoke out today against the harsh sentence Pussy Riot recently received. “I feel that extending the prison time [for the band members] in this case is counterproductive,” Medvedev said, according to RIA Novosti. “In my opinion, probation would have been sufficient punishment, considering all the time they've already spent behind bars.”

Pussy Riot was found guilty of hooliganism last month and sentenced to two years in prison. The United States, United Kingdom and European Union all condemned the sentence. 

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In a meeting with members from the ruling United Russia party, Medvedev announced today that he agreed. “The term is very strong. I would even say a terrible burden,” he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But Medvedev's support was still a little wishy-washy. He also criticized the women by saying that he was "sickened by what they did, by their looks, by the hysteria which followed what had happened," Reuters reported. Medvedev had been president for four years until last May, when he handed the presidency back to Vladimir Putin. In the protest that got them in trouble, Pussy Riot had criticized Putin during a performance at Moscow's main cathedral. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/120912/dmitry-medvedev-russias-prime-minister-says-free-pussy-ri