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Pussy Riot videos banned online by Russian court

A court in Moscow has deemed videos of the band Pussy Riot performing its 'punk prayer' inside a cathedral as "extremist," saying they should be banned from the web. Two band members are in prison for the February act.

Masked members of Pussy Riot feminist punk group perform during their 'flashmob'-style protest inside Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The girls were marched by guards out of the cathedral. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Mitya Aleshkovsky)

Pussy Riot Kirche Flashmob Punk Russland Moskau

The decision from the court in the Russian capital on Thursday said the video, which was recorded in February during Pussy Riot's protest performance (pictured above) against then-presidential candidate Vladimir Putin, should be removed from all websites.

The Reuters news agency quoted Judge Marina Musimovich as saying that the video "had elements of extremism."

"In particular there are words and actions which humiliate various social groups based on their religion," she added.

Two of the members of Pussy Riot are serving two-year sentences in work camps after being convicted of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred. A third bandmate is serving a suspended sentence.

Jailing the members of Pussy Riot drew widespread criticism from abroad. US and European leaders described the sentences as excessive, and some expressed the view that the women had been punished as part of a crackdown on opposition figures in Russia.

mz/ipj (Reuters, dpa, AP)