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Copycat Pussy Riot protesters could face 3-year sentence in Germany

Members of the band Pussy Riot, arrested in February after storming a Moscow cathedral, were sentenced to two years in jail Friday. Critics say the arrest was Putin's personal revenge, raising questions about justice in Russia. NBC's Duncan Golestani reports.

Church officials at a German cathedral have filed charges against three masked activists who disrupted a Sunday mass in support of the Russian rock group Pussy Riot, the officials confirmed to NBC News.

Two days after the Pussy Riot verdict in Moscow, the copycats stormed into the mass at Cologne cathedral and shouted “Free Pussy Riot,” while throwing leaflets into the crowd.


After less than a minute, the activists were escorted out by church wardens.

Prosecutors told NBC News that under German law, the two men and one woman could be prosecuted for the disruption of free practice of religion.

Russian court sentences Pussy Riot rockers to 2 years in prison

If convicted, they could face up to three years in prison – compared to the two-year sentence given to their heroines in Russia.

Russian clerics forgive Pussy Riot, ask for mercy

In an interview with Cathedral Radio, the dean of the Cologne Cathedral, Monsignore Robert Kleine, said: "It is legitimate and certainly appropriate to protest the verdict ... in public [in Germany], for example in squares. But there are borders, especially when the rights of others are impaired."

"The right to demonstration cannot be set above the right to religious freedom and above the religious feelings of the congregation," Kleine added.

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