Russian prosecutors ask for 3 years in punk case

Supporters of members of feminist punk group Pussy Riot shout "Freedom Pussy Riot" during an action at a court room in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. The woman wears a T-shirt with President Vladimir Putin's picture and the inscription: "A very dangerous criminal wanted. Reward: A free Russia." holds a poster that reads: "This is not the court, this is a lynching!" Members of a feminist Russian punk band on trial for performing a stunt against Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral sought to dismiss their judge on Monday, accusing him in court of being politically biased and ignoring their side of the story. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW - Russian prosecutors are asking for a three-year sentence for each member of a feminist punk band for performing a stunt against Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral.

The hooliganism charges the three women are facing carry a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

Prosecutor Alexander Nikiforov said in court Tuesday that a 3-year term would take into account the fact that two of the defendants are young mothers.

Members of the band say they did not mean to hurt anyone's religious feelings when they performed a "punk prayer" in Christ the Saviour cathedral in February against Putin's return to the Russian presidency.

Their case is part of a widening government crackdown on dissent that followed Putin's election in March and caused strong protests in Russia and abroad.