Pussy Riot: Court Bans Videos From Internet

Videos made by the jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot, including the infamous "Punk Prayer" in a Moscow cathedral, have been branded "extremist" by a Russian court.

It ordered that access to the videos should be banned online.

The judge hearing the case also restricted access to the official Pussy Riot website and the band's popular Livejournal blog.

The decision came after prosecutors told the court that linguistic experts found the clips offensive.

Judge Marina Musimovich said the video "has elements of extremism, in particular there are words and actions which humiliate various social groups based on their religion".

Materials officially branded "extremist" are put on a blacklist kept by the Russian justice ministry.

Currently the list has about 1,500 items, mostly related to banned religious and ultra-nationalist groups or those considered to be fascist.

Two Pussy Riot members are currently serving two-year prison terms after their cathedral performance was ruled an act of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

The video of the February Punk Prayer has gone viral and been viewed on YouTube several million times.

Pussy Riot also sang a song "Putin Got Scared" on Red Square, and staged an illicit concert on the roof of a Moscow prison for those detained at a protest rally last December.

The band's Yekaterina Samutsevich, who has been convicted for the church stunt but freed with a suspended sentence, called the latest ruling a "direct recognition of artistic censorship" in Russia.