Artist calls for lynching Putin in punk band video

Canadian electro-punk performance artist Peaches posted a protest video for Russian feminist band Pussy Riot online Wednesday in which she calls for President Vladimir Putin to be lynched.

The video for the new song "Free Pussy Riot", which appeared on YouTube and Facebook and other social media sites, is aimed at supporting three band members who face three years behind bars in a verdict to be handed down Friday.

In the song, Peaches blames Putin for the prosecution of the trio on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for their "punk prayer" against his re-election in a Moscow church in February.

"Here's the pitch, here's the switch, put Putin on a stick and play burn the witch," runs the rap in the video.

The song plays against the backdrop of a protest in a Berlin park last week organised by the 45-year-old singer, who lives in the German capital and has a major cult following for her provocative performances.

Peaches and fellow musician Simonne Jones gathered around 400 people decked out in the Russian band's trademark candy-coloured balaclavas, who chant "We Are All Pussy Riot" at the end of the video.

The Canadian singer, whose given name is Merrill Nisker, told AFP last week she and Pussy Riot both draw inspiration from the "riot grrrl" school of feminist punk rock.

She said she wanted to lend "underground" backing to the support the band has received from major stars such as Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More, and drum up donations for the band's legal defence fund.

"I thought if I lived in Russia, this would be me," Peaches said. "Once this song comes out I won't be allowed back in Russia for what I say about Putin."

Peaches has launched an online petition drive addressed to Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Yakovlevich Chaika, which calls the trial "a cruel heavy-handed act of oppression" and has collected more than 95,000 signatures.

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