Sir Paul McCartney has pledged his support for Russian all girl punk group Pussy Riot.
The 'Hey Jude' singer has written a letter in support of the band's members - Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich - ahead of their verdict in their trial for ongoing trial for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.
The band were arrested after performing a song attacking Russian leader Vladimir Putin on February 21 in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Paul has expressed his hope that the law will come down in favour of freedom of expression.
The 70-year-old star wrote in his letter: "Dear Nadya, Katya & Masha, I'm writing to show my support for you at this difficult time.
"I would like you to know that I very much hope the Russian authorities would support the principle of free speech for all their citizens and not feel that they have to punish you for your protest.
"Many people in the civilised world are allowed to voice their opinions and as long as they do not hurt anyone in doing so I believe this is the best way forward for all societies.
"I hope you can 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."
Madonna recently caused controversy by announced to the crowd in Moscow during her MDNA Tour she was praying for Pussy Riot's freedom.
The girls insist they meant no "evil" with their performance, which saw them imitating a Christian prayer, imploring the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Vladimir Putin.
Paul McCartney joins the list of musicians who are backing Pussy Riot, including Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Pete Townshend of The Who and former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.
Despite many protests, the band's lawyer, Mark Feygin, believes a guilty verdict is inevitable, and they will serve up to three years in prison.