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Members of the all-female Russian punk group ‘Pussy Riot’ who are facing jail terms for an anti-Putin protest have gone on hunger strike.

The three women decided on the action after appearing at a Moscow court hearing where a judge ruled to reduce the time for their defence team to study case materials.

The ruling only gives them a matter of a few days instead of the normal few months to mount a defence.

The suspects were detained in March after five masked members of ‘Pussy Riot’ performed a song in Moscow’s largest cathedral against what they said was church support for Vladimir Putin’s presidential campaign.

The three admit being part of ‘Pussy Riot’ but not to taking part in the protest. They face up to seven years in jail if found guilty of hooliganism.

Outside the court, hundreds of supporters demonstrated against the women’s treatment.
While many back the group, Russia’s Orthodox Church has condemned their protest.

Police later arrested three people who had chained themselves into a cage, simulating the fact that in Russian courts suspects await judges’ verdicts held in metal cages.

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