Rocker Peter Gabriel has joined Sir Paul McCartney, Madonna and Bjork in voicing his support for jailed Russian rockers Pussy Riot.
The three female stars of the band will be sentenced on Friday (17Aug12) on charges of hooliganism after they performed a protest song aimed at President Vladimir Putin at a church in Moscow earlier this year (12).
Their plight has prompted support from music stars around the world, and Gabriel is hopeful their "brave" stand will help Russians in the future.
In an opinion piece for Britain's The Times, he writes, "There are very brave young people willing to risk their freedom, along with all the accompanying threats to family, for a better, freer and more open Russia.
"The Russians are a very smart, able and independent people who will, for sure, determine who governs them and how they do it. We outsiders (and musicians) are now being asked to help them to throw off the heavy blanket of silence, to let a little light into Russia's darkest corners.
"Turning away doesn't seem like the right thing to do."
Bandmember Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has reached out to the group's supporters in a letter through her lawyer, stating, "I hold no spite. I have no private spite. But I have political spite. Our being in jail is a clear and distinct sign that our freedom is being taken away from the whole country."