Russian Court Decides to Not Release Pussy Riot’s Alyokhina

members of pussy riot

A file picture taken on July 20, 2012 shows members of the all-girl punk band “Pussy Riot” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (C), Maria Alyokhina (R) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (L), sitting behind bars during a court hearing in Moscow. (Photo credit: NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/GettyImages)

Nearly a year after punk rock protest group Pussy Riot’s performance at Christ the Savior Cathedral, a Russian prison court has ruled not to release jailed Pussy Riot member. The punk rocker’s attorneys had petitioned the Russian court to defer her sentence until her young son turned fourteen as she is a single parent.

Unfortunately, Maria will spend the remainder of her two year sentence far away from her five year old.

The ruling is yet another example of injustice compounded in the Pussy Riot case. From the initial unjustified arrests, to the questionable trial, to an outrageous verdict, each step in the case has been an affront to human rights and freedom of expression.

Three members of the group, Pussy Riot, were charged with “hooliganism on the grounds of religious hatred” after performing the protest song “Virgin Mary, Redeem Us of Putin,” in Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral in February 2011. A Moscow court sentenced Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich  to two years each in penal colonies, a decision that has sparked global outrage.

While  Ekaterina was released on probation after an October 10, 2012 appeal, Nadezhda and Maria having been serving their sentences in notorious penal colonies, thousands of miles from Moscow. Nadezhda also has a young daughter, from whom she has been separated since her March 2012 arrest.

The persecution of Pussy Riot has become a global symbol of President Putin’s shameless intolerance for criticism and determined crackdown on freedom of expression and association.  These women have been sentenced for the crime of performing a song.

Amnesty International calls for Maria and Nadezhda’s unconditional release so that they may return to their art and activism without fear of reprisal.

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3 thoughts on “Russian Court Decides to Not Release Pussy Riot’s Alyokhina

  1. Be honest and report the pertinent details surrounding this case for once. Your spin and outright dishonesty threatens the shrinking shread of credibility A.I. has.

  2. How ironic "Your comment must be approved by the site admins before it will appear publicly.". YOU are "an affront to human rights and freedom of expression"! Care to even attempt to defend your hypocrisy?