Coming Up: Women In Russian Punk Band To Be Sentenced

A verdict is expected sometime after 7 a.m. ET in the case against three women from the Russian punk band Pussy Riot who have been tried in Moscow on charges of “hooliganism connected to religious hatred,” as The Associated Press puts it.

Our colleague Korva Coleman described what Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich did to get themselves in trouble this way:

“Last February, they staged an impromptu performance in one of Moscow’s main Russian Orthodox cathedrals. Wearing colorful balaclavas and gaudy tights, the women sang a prayer to the Virgin Mary calling for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s banishment and used vulgar language criticizing church leader Patriarch Kirill.”

The case, as Korva reported, has gotten attention around the world and the band has gotten support from such notables as Madonna and Paul McCartney. As our friends at On the Media have said, by prosecuting the young women the Russian government ” has turned Pussy Riot into an international cause.”

Today, as Korva has reported, the band’s supporters are expected to gather in at least two dozen cities.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.