One member of the Russian LGBT-supporting punk band Pussy Riot has been freed from jail – although the other two women remain behind bars.

In August, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were jailed for two years for staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest, with a song that mentioned the country’s persecuted LGBT citizens in a Moscow cathedral on 21 February.

Their imprisonment sparked widespread international condemnation.

The Associated Press reports on Wednesday there were cheers in court when the two-year jail term of Ms Yekaterina was suspended.

The trio spoke defiantly at the appeal hearing, saying their protest song was political and not anti-church.

The court accepted the argument of Samutsevich’s lawyer – that she had been thrown out of the cathedral by guards before she could remove her guitar from its case for the band’s “punk prayer”.

One of the defence lawyers, Mark Feigin, said “we’re glad that Yekaterina Samutsevich has been freed, but we think the other two girls should also be released”.

Earlier, Ms Alyokhina told the hearing: “We’re all innocent… the verdict should be overturned. The Russian justice system looks discredited”.

Ms Samutsevich’s father reacted to the ruling by saying: “What happiness! But what a shame about the other girls – they don’t deserve such a harsh punishment”.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called for the women to be freed last month.

However, President Putin defended the sentences last week on Russian TV.