Culture

Pussy Riot, Other Russian Political Prisoners, to Be Released

Culture

Pussy Riot, Other Russian Political Prisoners, to Be Released

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Nadya Tolokonnikova  and Maria Alekhina, better known as members of the Russian punk provocateurs Pussy Riot, will soon be released from prison, according to reports, three months earlier than had been expected. The two, along with a third band member, were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism” when they performed a piece critical of Putin and the Russian Orthodox church.

Earlier this week, a new Russian amnesty law was passed. According to The Associated Press, prisoners “who haven’t committed violent crimes, first-time offenders, minors and women with small children” are granted amnesty from their imprisonment. During their time, Alekhina went on a hunger strike and Tolokonnikova wrote an open letter, protesting the treatment of prisoners. Just days after that letter was posted, she disappeared for 21 days during a prison transfer, showing up in a Siberian prison hospital.

Over thirty other political prisoners will also be released, including dozens of environmental activists, and one of Putin’s main opponents, oil billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Lest we think Putin has completely gone soft, he clarified:

“It’s important for me to protect our values for our citizens,” he said, adding that he was protecting Russians from those “that are trying to aggressively dictate their values.”

Also it’s important to stop the world from bitching at us about human rights as the Olympics are approaching, he probably meant to add.