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4 Detained at Punk Band Rally

Three supporters and a demonstrator against all-female punk band Pussy Riot were detained outside a Moscow courthouse Wednesday morning where a judge upheld the arrests of two band members on charges of hooliganism.

Among those detained was Peter Verzilov, of art group Voina, who protested in support of the jailed women, and nationalist Congress of Russian Communities party member Alexander Bosykh, who supported the women’s detention, Interfax reported.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are being held while awaiting trial on charges of hooliganism for their alleged participation in a Feb. 21 performance by the band inside Christ the Savior Cathedral.

They face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

At the hearing, a judge denied a request by lawyers for both women to be released, the Rapsi legal news agency reported. The women are scheduled to be held until April 24.

Supporters of the two women say they should be released while awaiting trial since they pose no threat to society and both have young children.

Orthodox demonstrators in favor of their arrest picketed in front of the courthouse Wednesday morning, holding signs with the message “The blasphemers should answer to criminal law 213, part two,” the section of the Criminal Code defining the charge of hooliganism that the women face.

Supporters of the women held signs adorned with photographs of them.

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