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Free Pussy Riot, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says again

Russian PM Medvedev says pre-trial custody enough for jailed punk band Pussy Riot.

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A picture taken on October 10, 2012, shows two jailed members of the all-girl punk band "Pussy Riot," Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, sitting in a glass-walled cage in a court in Moscow. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev repeated his call today to free the jailed punk band Pussy Riot, saying the two remaining members have spent enough time behind bars.

Medvedev made the same comments before last month’s appeals hearing for the all-girl trio, sentenced to two-years in jail for hooliganism, The Associated Press said.

In August, Pussy Riot staged a “punk prayer” inside a Moscow cathedral asking for deliverance from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The court freed Yekaterina Samutsevich during that appeal, but Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina are serving sentences in prison camps.
Medvedev made sure to distance himself from the women, who Putin said were right to be jailed, but suggested his legal training made it difficult to ignore the facts.

More from GlobalPost: Pussy Riot member free after appeal, 2 sent back to jail

“They provoke extremely negative emotions in me, so unpleasant that I don’t even like to talk about it,” said the PM, who is a lawyer, The Telegraph reported.

According to AFP, Medvedev made the comments to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

“If I was a judge I wouldn’t have sent them to prison,” Medvedev added, AFP said.

“Just because I don’t consider it correct that their punishment was in the form of a custodial sentence. They’d already been [in pre-trial detention], and that was enough.”

More from GlobalPost: Pussy Riot prison camp especially brutal, lawyer says

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/121102/free-pussy-riot-russian-prime-minister-dmitry-medvedev-sa