Three members of Russian punk band PUSSY RIOT laughed as they were jailed for two years on Friday (17Aug12) after a judge ruled they were guilty of hooliganism for performing a protest song in a church.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were arrested after singing a track at a church in Moscow during a service earlier this year (12).
The song urges the Virgin Mary to become a feminist and put Putin away, and has lyrics including S**t, s**t, the Lord's s**t
Their case became a cause celebre as leading pop stars including Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, Bjork, and Peter Gabriel lined up to show support for the trio and call for them to be freed.
But following a trial in Moscow, the three musicians were found guilty on Friday and each sentenced to two years in prison.
Judge Marina Syrova told the rockers they had acted "without morality", had shown "disrespect to society", and were "motivated by religious hatred".
Tolokonnikova, Alekhina and Samutsevich were seen on camera giggling as they were led from the courtroom.
The three punk stars were arrested in March (12), weeks after storming into Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church and performing their song Punk Prayer - which contains insults aimed at Religion and Russian President Vladimir Putin - as officials tried to remove them from the building.
The song urges the Virgin Mary to "become a feminist" and "put Putin away", and has lyrics including "S**t, s**t, the Lord's s**t".
The hearing in Moscow attracted scores of demonstrators - both supporting Pussy Riot and protesting against them - outside the court building.
Legendary chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov was reportedly arrested at the scene as he joined the crowd.