Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina Set Free From Prison | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina Set Free From Prison

The Voice Project Issues Statement

Dec 23, 2013 Pussy Riot
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After a long battle in the court of public opinion Pussy Riot‘s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were set free today after nearly serving the entirety of a two-year sentence. The two remaining members were set free after the passing of a new Amnesty Law. Their sentence was originally set to end in February.

In an interview with The New York Times, Alyokhina said, “I think this is an attempt to improve the image of the current government, a little, before the Sochi Olympics—particularly for the Western Europeans. But I don’t consider this humane or merciful. This is a lie. We didn’t ask for any pardon. I would have sat here until the end of my sentence because I don’t need mercy from Putin.”

The Voice Project, an organization that has continually worked with Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina’s families during the women’s imprisonment, issued their own statement: “We all recognize that the whole amnesty program is a PR move by Putin, likely of course a bit of image clean up prior to the Olympics. Amnesty being ‘granted’ to two women put in prison for a 40 second song performance, who would have been released in a mere couple of months after missing nearly two years with their young children and loved ones is, of course, absurd. Last minute amnesty does not make up for that or the rule of law denied to so many others by the Putin regime and our thoughts are with them today. However, we are so happy that Nadya and Masha are safe, have come through this ordeal healthy and strong, and two young mothers will now be getting to see their children. A very large community of activists and donors around the world have worked hard to help to see that happen. In particular we thank all of you in this community who donated to keep them safe and monitored, supplied and visited, who refused to let this pass quietly and never stopped working for their safety and freedom.”

In addition to Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich, who was released last year, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were jailed on charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after a performance at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

Calls for Pussy Riot’s release have come from all corners of the music community since their imprisonment. Click here to view photos of the members’ release.



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