Members of The Who, Franz Ferdinand Seek Pussy Riot Release
Members of The Who, Franz Ferdinand Seek Pussy Riot Release

Some of Britain's leading musicians have published a letter calling for Russian officials to release a punk band that has been jailed following a protest in Moscow's main cathedral.

The Who's Pete Townshend, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand and others call for the release of the three members of Pussy Riot in a letter published Thursday in The Times of London.

The musicians say the band members were involved in legitimate protest and should not be facing up to seven years in jail for their actions. In February, the group performed a "punk prayer" against Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Church of Christ the Saviour, the country's top Orthodox cathedral.

The letter says "dissent is a right in any democracy."

It was published as Putin visits London for talks with Prime Minister David Cameron and a visit to the Olympic judo competition.

Watch footage of the "punk prayer":

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