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Feminist anti-Putin rockers say judge biased

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Aug. 6, 2012, 6:05 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, center, a member of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot is escorted to a court room in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012.Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday criticized the feminist punk rockers facing trial for performing a "punk prayer" against him at Moscow's main cathedral, but said that a punishment for them shouldn't be too severe.
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

MOSCOW — Members of a feminist Russian punk band facing hooliganism charges for performing a "punk prayer" against Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral are complaining that the judge isn't giving them a fair hearing. 

The three women, who have been in custody for five months following their stunt, said Monday that the judge turned down most of their motions. The band members, who are facing a seven-year sentence if convicted, have previously complained that they've been deprived of sleep and food.

The Pussy Riot band performed their act in February as a protest against Putin's return to the presidency and the Russian Orthodox Church's support for him. Their case is part of widening government's crackdown on dissent that followed Putin's election and caused strong protests in Russia and abroad. 

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