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Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has been freed from jail with the 30-year-old’s two-year sentence suspended today by a Moscow judge.

Her two bandmates, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, have been told they’ll serve the rest of their two-year sentences.

Samutsevich’s term was cut short after an appeal to her conviction of hooliganism driven by religious hatred and offending religious believers during a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin at a cathedral.

The three were found guilty in August after they argued their impromptu performance of a "punk prayer" at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow in February was political protest, not a comment on religion.

Samutsevich was singled out because she was thrown out of the cathedral before she could get her guitar out of its case and join the performance.

In statements read from a glass box in the court, the other two band members reiterated that they meant no offence to church-goers, that they are anti-Putin, not anti-religion.

"I have lost all hope in the court," Alyokhina said. "But I want again and for the last time, because we probably won't get another chance, to talk about our motives. Dear believers, we did not want to offend you."

"We don't have and have never had any religious hate," Tolokonnikova said.

Alyokhina had previously stated: "We came to the cathedral to speak out against the merger between spiritual figures and the political elite of our country."

There has been widespread international condemnation for Russia’s treatment of the case, arguing the sentences weren’t proportional to the offence.

Putin argued in a documentary aired on Sunday that the sentences were appropriate.

"It is right that they were arrested and it was right that the court took this decision, because you cannot undermine the fundamental morals and values to destroy the country," he said.

Images via Getty


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One member of Pussy Riot freed from jail on probation
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