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Protesters rally outside Russian Embassy in DC

Friday - 8/17/2012, 12:51pm  ET

WASHINGTON - About a dozen demonstrators were protesting outside the Russian Embassy in Washington as three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot were found guilty of hooliganism.

The protesters, who arrived at the embassy on Wisconsin Avenue at daybreak Friday, held bright yellow signs reading "Free Pussy Riot." The protest was hosted by Amnesty International, which said it gave the embassy a petition on Tuesday with 70,000 signatures asking for the prisoners to be released.

Later Friday, a Russian court sentenced each of the three band members to two years in prison. The trial has drawn international outrage and several celebrities have also called for the band members to be freed.

Other protests were planned in five other U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, Ore. and San Francisco.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)