Madonna supports Russian rockers on trial for speaking out against Putin

US pop diva Madonna (R) performs on stage during her "MDNA" world tour at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on August 4, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ANATOLII STEPANOV (Photo credit should read ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/GettyImages) AFP

Madonna performs on stage during her "MDNA" world tour at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on August 4, 2012.
AFP/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) Madonna, who has voiced her support for the three Russian rockers that are on trial for performing a "punk prayer" against Vladimir Putin, says she is hopeful that the feminist rockers will be released soon.

Pictures: Madonna

The pop star told the AP during her concert tour of Russia that she supports freedom of speech and hopes the judge will show leniency.

"I'm against censorship, so I hope that the judge is lenient with them and that they are freed soon," she said.

Two weeks before Putin's return to the presidency in March's election, the three members of the Pussy Riot band high-kicked and danced in Moscow's main cathedral while singing "Virgin Mary, drive Putin away!"

The three were arrested, and have spent five months in custody on charges of hooliganism. They face seven years in prison if convicted.

International rights groups have called them prisoners of conscience.

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