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Pussy Riot Members Could Be Released From Prison

 
Pussy Riot Members Could Be Released From Prison
Posted December 19th, 2013 @ 11:58am

Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, two members of the band Pussy Riot, are expected to be released from prison in Russia on Thursday, according to USA Today.

The women have spent close to two years in prison for performing a "punk prayer" against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his connections to the Russian Orthodox church.  They were convicted of "premeditated hooliganism performed by an organized group of people motivated by religious hatred or hostility."

In a news conference Putin said that the two women would be released as a part of an amnesty for prisoners who are first-time offenders, minors and women with small children, and those who haven't committed violent crimes.

Putin had no regret.  He said, "I was not sorry that they ended up behind bars.  I was sorry that they were engaged in such disgraceful behavior, which in my view was degrading to the dignity of women."

The protest that landed the band in trouble took place on February 21, 2012.  Five members of the protest group broke into the Moscow cathedral to perform their "punk prayer."  Video is below.

The story sparked a lot of international attention and criticism.  The debate over "free speech" is much different in Russia than it is in the United States.  This was a case of people actually being thrown in jail for their speech.  It's not the same as getting suspended from your TV show.

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