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Mischa Barton and Kate Walsh sympathise with jailed Russian punk stars

Actresses Mischa Barton and Kate Walsh have expressed their shock at the two-year sentence handed to three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot after they were found guilty of hooliganism on Friday (17Aug12).

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were arrested after singing a protest song at a church in Moscow during a service earlier this year (12).

Their case became a cause celebre as leading pop stars including Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, Bjork, and Peter Gabriel lined up to show support for the group and call for it to be freed.

But the high-profile calls for leniency were ignored by court officials on Friday (17Aug12), when the singers were found guilty and each sentenced to prison, and a number of celebrities have taken to their Twitter.com blogs to condemn the Russian authorities for their handling of the case.

Sympathising with the three feminists, former The O.C. star Barton wrote, "I can't believe sentencing pussyriot to 2 yrs (years) in jail.as someone who lived in Moscow and has filmed& seen inside the jails my heart goes out".

Walsh lamented, "What a massive disappointment for Russia: imprisoning pussyriot?? Shame on you", while dance artist Moby posted a link to a news story about the verdict and simply added, "Terrible".

Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood also directed fans to an article detailing the trial outcome, while U.K. comedian Eddie Izzard branded the case "crazy".

And British singer Simon Le Bon predicts the band will continue to stay in the headlines as demonstrators - both for and against Pussy Riot - protest the case in Russia.

He wrote, "PussyRiot sentanced (sic) to two years imprisonment. I don't think it's the last we'll hear of this story."

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