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Pussy Riot sentenced: Is chorus of support helpful, or just fashionable?

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Actress Chloe Sevigny took part in the New York demonstrations Thursday night, reading a letter written in prison by Ms. Alyokhina.

Alicia Silverstone, meanwhile, wrote a letter to Putin asking him to ensure that Alyokhina would have vegan dietary options available to her in prison. "I'm sure you can agree that everyone has the right to show compassion and refrain from hurting animals by being vegan," the vegan actress wrote.

On Twitter, famous names including Elijah Wood, Carrie Brownstein, and Czech-American tennis star Martina Navratilova expressed their support. “Today is free Pussy Riot day. How great is that? Democracy at its best. And by imprisoning them, Putin is making it so much a bigger deal!!” Ms. Navratilova tweeted.

[Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly identified Martina Navratilova’s nationality.]

Musicians have been especially vocal. Paul McCartney released a statement on his website Thursday encouraging “Nadya, Katya, and Masha” to “stay strong and believe that I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom.”

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