British pop stars demand fair trial for Russian rockers
LONDON (AFP) - A group of British musicians including Pete Townshend and the Pet Shop Boys have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin, due in London on Thursday, to give a fair trial to punk band Pussy Riot.
In a letter published in Thursday's Times newspaper, the twelve musicians called the charges against the three female band members "preposterous".
"Dissent is a right in any democracy and it is entirely disproportionate that they face seven years in jail for what we consider a preposterous charge of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred'," the musicians wrote.
Among the signatories of the letter were Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker; Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos; Johnny Marr of The Smiths and folk singer Corinne Bailey Rae.