Pussy Riot members released from prison: “Everything is just starting, so fasten your seat belt”

RUSSIA-MUSIC-RIGHTS-POLITICS
Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are under no illusions about the timing of Russian President Vladmir Putin’s amnesty bill that granted the duo early release todayVia Reuters:

 Two members of Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot freed from prison on Monday derided President Vladimir Putin’s amnesty that led to their early release as a propaganda stunt and promised to fight for human rights.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, shouted “Russia without Putin” following her release from a Siberian prison, hours after band mate Maria Alyokhina, 25, was freed from jail in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod.

The women had two months left to serve but walked free days after a pardon from Putin freed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky eight months before the end of his more than 10-year jail term, decisions widely seen as intended to improve Russia’s image before it hosts the Winter Olympics in February.

It’s definitely hard not to view their release with some cynicism. In the face of global criticism of the Putin regime’s record of human rights violations–from anti-Putin protests to the much-publicized laws against LBGT citizens–this move for early release of the high-profile Pussy Riot members is PR at best, propaganda at worst, in advance of the Winter Games in Sochi this February.

“Everything is just starting, so fasten your seat belts,” Tolokonnikova said after her release. Both women plan to continue to work with human rights activists to fight for prisoner’s rights in Russia. ”We will unite our efforts in our human rights activity,” Alyokhina said. “We will try to sing our the song to the end.”

Image via.

Related:
Pussy Riot sentencing sparks international protest
Pussy Riot releases first song since members arrested
sm-bio Syreeta McFadden wears the white hat and reads banned books during the winter break.

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