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Paul McCartney voices support for Russian punk band

August 16, 2012|By Randy Lewis
  • Paul McCartney cheers at Olympic Stadium during Opening Ceremonies before his performance to kick off the 2012 London Olympics.
Paul McCartney cheers at Olympic Stadium during Opening Ceremonies before… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

The members of incarcerated Russian punk band Pussy Riot have gained a powerful new ally in their battle with Russian authorities over freedom of speech: Paul McCartney.

The former Beatle has come out in support of the female trio, whose members have been in jail for five months since mounting a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral. They are facing possible seven-year prison terms.

PHOTOS: Russian punk rockers on trial

McCartney, who performed in Red Square in 2003 in front of a massive audience that included Putin, has posted a letter of support on his web site for the three musicians stating:

“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 civilized world are allowed to voice their opinions and 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 to everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom.

“Wishing you the very best luck,

Paul McCartney”

McCartney is the latest pop music figure to come out in support of Pussy Riot. Others include Madonna, Peaches, Peter Gabriel, The Who's Pete Townshend, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bjork.

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