As Russian prosecutors push for a three year sentence for the three members of Pussy Riot who are on trial for discent a number of famous musicians have stepped forward to voice the opinion on the matter.
The three women on trial are Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29.
The Russian punk group Pussy Riot, which is composed entirely of women, were jailed in February after they performed a song that called on the Virgin Mary to "throw Putin out" at a mass in the main cathedral of Russia’s Orthodox church.
They told the court their performance was a political act, not aimed at hurting the feelings of believers but could now face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
Speaking to the Guardian, Madonna said she believes in freedom of speech and musicians should not have to face such harsh punishment.
She said: ''I'm against censorship, and my whole career I've always promoted freedom of expression, freedom of speech. So obviously, I think what's happening to them is unfair. And I hope that they do not have to serve seven years in jail, that would be a tragedy.
"I think art should be political. I think art through history, historically speaking, art always reflects what's going on socially. So for me it's hard to separate the idea of being an artist and being political.''
Supporters of the trio claim the case is a reflection of the Russian government's intolerance to opponents, and protest.
However, the head patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church has called their actions "blasphemy".
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