Top British rockers seek release of Russian band

Associated Press
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, a member of feminist punk group Pussy Riot is escorted to a police van in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Tolokonnikova and two other members of the group are facing trial on charges of hooliganism for performing a "punk prayer" at Moscow's main cathedral against Vladimir Putin's return to the Russian presidency. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

LONDON (AP) — 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, former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys 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.

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

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