Paul McCartney Writes Letter to Support Pussy Riot After Hunger Strike

When a jailed member of the controversial Russian punk band Pussy Riot decided to go on hunger strike to protest her incarceration proceedings, Sir Paul McCartney stepped in. He penned a hand-written letter to Russian authorities, demanding they release the two remaining jailed members of the wronged band.

Maria Alyokhina informed the courts that she is partaking in a hunger strike after she was prevented from attending her parole hearing in person. In August, she was sentenced to two years of prison for performing a song that criticized the then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a Orthodox cathedral in February 2012. The charge was identified as "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred." Along with Alyokhina, band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is also serving the same sentence. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was also sentenced to the same time but was released in October on parole.

Sir Paul McCartney wrote a tremendously appealing and flattering piece of epistolary exposition:

"In the great tradition of fair-mindedness which the Russian people (many of whom are my friends) are famous for, I believe that you granting this request would send a very positive message to all the people who have followed this case."

He also give a quick, just in case you weren't aware, gentle suggestion, that this whole business might not be the most effective way for Russia to achieve a healthy public perception:

"My personal belief is that further incarceration for Maria will be harmful for her and the situation as a whole, which, of course, is being watched by people all over the world."

In another letter about Tolokonnikova, who was denied parole last month, he wrote again confirming his close ties to the people of the Russian landmass:

"I have had a long relationship with the Russian people, and, with this in mind, I am making the following request in a spirit of friendship for my many Russian acquaintances who, like me, believe in treating people - all people - with compassion and kindness."

[images via Getty]