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Paul McCartney writes in support of Pussy Riot

FILE - In this Monday Oct. 1, 2012 file photo, feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. Alekhina went on hunger strike Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in protest at not being allowed to attend her own parole hearing in Perm province. In letters dated Monday and posted online by the group's supporters, McCartney asks for parole to be granted to Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, currently serving two-year sentences for an impromptu protest in Moscow's main cathedral. The judge in Mordovia province to whom the Beatles frontman Paul McCartney addressed two letters in Pussy Riot support, denied Tolokonnikova parole last month. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, file)FILE - In this Monday Oct. 1, 2012 file photo, feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. Alekhina went on hunger strike Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in protest at not being allowed to attend her own parole hearing in Perm province. In letters dated Monday and posted online by the group's supporters, McCartney asks for parole to be granted to Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, currently serving two-year sentences for an impromptu protest in Moscow's main cathedral. The judge in Mordovia province to whom the Beatles frontman Paul McCartney addressed two letters in Pussy Riot support, denied Tolokonnikova parole last month. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, file)

MOSCOW (AP) — Beatles frontman Paul McCartney has asked a Russian judge to release members of the Pussy Riot punk group from prison.

In letters dated Monday and posted online by the group's supporters, McCartney asks for parole to be granted to Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, currently serving two-year sentences for an impromptu protest in Moscow's main cathedral.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina is in a defendant's cage in a court room in the town of Berezniki, some 1500 km (940 miles) north-east of Moscow, Russia. The imprisoned member of the punk band Pussy Riot is going on hunger strike on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, after a judge refused to allow her to attend a court hearing. Alekhina was convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, last year, along with two other Pussy Riot band members for an anti-President Vladimir Putin stunt in Russia’s main cathedral. (AP Photo/Alexander Agafonov, file)FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina is in a defendant's cage in a court room in the town of Berezniki, some 1500 km (940 miles) north-east of Moscow, Russia. The imprisoned member of the punk band Pussy Riot is going on hunger strike on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, after a judge refused to allow her to attend a court hearing. Alekhina was convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, last year, along with two other Pussy Riot band members for an anti-President Vladimir Putin stunt in Russia’s main cathedral. (AP Photo/Alexander Agafonov, file)

McCartney wrote that he was making the request "in a spirit of friendship for my many Russian acquaintances who, like me, believe in treating people - all people, with compassion and kindness."

Alekhina went on hunger strike Wednesday in protest at not being allowed to attend her own parole hearing in Perm province. The judge in Mordovia province to whom McCartney addressed both letters denied Tolokonnikova parole last month.