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'Stay strong,' Paul McCartney tells Pussy Riot on eve of verdict

Reuters file photo of Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

LONDON - Paul McCartney threw his support behind Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot on Thursday on the eve of the verdict in their trial for insulting President Vladimir Putin.

The former Beatle told the three young women to "stay strong" and said he would do everything in his power to help them.

The women will hear on Friday whether they will be imprisoned over their anti-Putin prank, which took place in a landmark Moscow church.

McCartney wrote: "Dear Nadya, Katya and Masha, I'm writing to show my support for you at this difficult time.

"I would like you to know that I very much hope the Russian authorities would support the principle of free speech for all their citizens and not feel that they have to punish you for your protest.

"Many people in the civilised world are allowed to voice their opinions ... as long as they do not hurt anyone in doing so. I believe this is the best way forward for all societies.

"I hope you can stay strong and believe that I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom. Wishing you the very best of luck, Paul McCartney."

Amnesty International handed in a 10,000-signature petition on Thursday in support of the Pussy Riot singers to the Russian embassy in London.

They face three years in prison for staging the protest.

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