Pussy Riot Members Freed Under Russian Amnesty

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Pussy Riot is an outspoken Russian Punk Rock band
Pussy Riot is an outspoken Russian Punk Rock band
Pussy Riot is an outspoken Russian Punk Rock band
Pussy Riot is an outspoken Russian Punk Rock band

MOSCOW – Pussy Riot band members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Nizhny Novgorod have been freed from prison in Russia. The move is widely seen as an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to soften his country’s image heading into the Sochi Olympic Winter Games this coming February.

The jailed members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been released from jail under an amnesty law.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova walked free from a prison hospital in Siberia, while band-mate Maria Alyokhina was freed earlier in Nizhny Novgorod.

Tolokonnikova and Novgorod are dismissing the amnesty simply as publicity stunt ahead of February’s Winter Olympics, which will be held in Russia.

The musicians were jailed in August 2012 after performing a protest song in Moscow’s main cathedral.

Russian Amnesty – Softer Gentler Putin?

Two days after the amnesty came into force President Putin also pardoned Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former personal political opponent and outspoken critic of the Russian leader.

At a Berlin news conference held on Sunday, Mr. Khodorkovsky was seeking a more conciliatory tone with the Russian President. Perhaps demonstrating the impact of the imprisonment, Khodorkovsky is vowing to stay out of politics.

Khodorkovsky had been incarcerated for more than a decade.

Pussy Riot Goes ‘Dixie Chicks’

Pussy Riot isn’t “Ready to Make Nice”. Alyokhina’s first words and actions after being freed serve as a sign that this fight is likely to get more fierce and more personal. Tolokonnikova on leaving jail shouted “Russia without Putin” and is calling the amnesty “another show ahead of the Olympics”.

The act was seen as blasphemous by many Russians, but their conviction for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” was criticized by rights groups, anti-Putin activists and foreign governments.

The Pussy Riot members jail sentences were due to end in March 2014. Their release became possible after a law passed in Russia’s parliament.

That amnesty allowed freedom to almost 20,000 prisoners.

“But let us remember about all those people who are not much talked about and are even forgotten but who still need to come out of their jails as they don’t belong here,” stated Tolokonnikova.

Pussy Riot isn't "Ready to Make Nice" - the band members on release from Jail are calling for a "Russia without Putin".
Pussy Riot isn’t “Ready to Make Nice” – the band members on release from Jail are calling for a “Russia without Putin”.
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