Punk icon John Lydon has paid tribute to jailed Russian rockers Pussy Riot, hailing them as "incredibly brave" for standing up to the country's president Vladimir Putin.
Three members of the feminist group - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich - were jailed for two years each in Moscow earlier this month (Aug12) after they were found guilty of hooliganism.
The charge stemmed from an incident in February (12) when the punk band performed an anti-Putin and anti-religion song at a church in the city.
Their jailing sparked outrage in many Western nations, with stars including Madonna, Bjork, and Sting slamming the prison sentences - and now Lydon has spoken out to praise the all-girl group.
The former Sex Pistols frontman tells Q magazine, "They're incredibly staunch and brave. I know how scary that country is... I love them girlies. They are my kind of peeps (people)... Punk loosened things up in the U.K. but some countries lag far, far behind.
"I hope they succeed (in appealing against the sentence) before Sting and (Bob) Geldof and Phil Collins do a benefit concert. Pussy Riot will still be in jail because those c**ts don't get you out of jail. People like me get you out of jail. Russia is a place where you have to be very, very brave to take a stance. My heart goes out to them."