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Top British rockers seek release of Russia's Pussy Riot

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Aug. 2, 2012, 1:28 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Police stand guard as a supporter of punk band Pussy Riot pickets a Moscow court, Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Three members of the Pussy Riot band were arrested after their February prank prayer at Moscow's Christ the Savior cathedral, in which they asked Mother Mary to deliver Russia from Putin's return to the Kremlin for a third term. The feminist punk rockers face up to seven years in jail for staging the prank prayer against President Vladimir Putin. Writing on woman's chest reads: 'Freedom for Pussy Riot'.
© AP

LONDON — Some of Britain's leading musicians have published a letter calling for Russian officials to release a punk band that has been jailed following a protest in Moscow's main cathedral.

The Who's Pete Townshend, former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys and others call for the release of the three members of Pussy Riot in a letter published Thursday in The Times of London.

The musicians say the band members were involved in legitimate protest and should not be facing up to seven years in jail for their actions.

The letter says "dissent is a right in any democracy."

It was published as Russian President Vladimir Putin visits London for talks with Prime Minister David Cameron and a visit to the Olympic judo competition.

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