NEWSFLASH: Freedom for Pussy Riot? UPDATE: Yes!!!

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UPDATE: A prisoner amnesty bill passed in the lower house of the Russian Parliament yesterday, and today Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the two jailed members of Pussy Riot would be among those freed soon (no exact date was given). Of course it’s not like he realized what horrifically punitive treatment they have received for their punk rock protest; said Putin, 

I feel sorry for Pussy Riot not for the fact that they were jailed, but for disgraceful behavior that has degraded the image of women.

All we can say is that one man’s “degraded image” is the feminist image of heroism.

 

The two still-jailed members of the famed feminist punk protest band Pussy Riot could be freed before the year ends.

Russia’s Supreme Court recently ordered an appeal hearing and ruled that the jailing of members of the band was done illegally. The Supreme Court found that the Moscow court that convicted Maria Alyokhina, 25, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 31, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, did not establish that they had disturbed the peace out of “hatred for a social group” or “religious hatred and enmity,” which was claimed to have been the motive. The Moscow court also did not take into account the fact that the crime was not violent. Samutsevich was released on a suspended sentence in October after winning an earlier appeal.

This is not the only recent piece of hopeful news for the band members currently serving two-year sentences in remote prison colonies. The Russian parliament is considering an amnesty that would free prisoners convicted of “hooliganism.” This could mean early release for Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, whose current sentences end in March. It could also mean the dropping of charges against the Artic 30—those arrested in a recent Greenpeace protest who are awaiting trial. The  terms of the amnesty also include a provision for mothers of young children, under which both imprisoned Pussy Riot members would qualify.

The draft resolution for an amnesty was proposed by President Putin to mark the 20th anniversary this month of the establishment of Russia’s Constitution in 1993. The timing also seems convenient, considering that, with the 2014 Winter Olympics set to begin in February, a global spotlight has been aimed at Russia’s human rights violations—especially its “anti-homosexual propaganda” law. Russia’s dubious practices and Putin’s political legacy are sure to be under strict scrutiny from the rest of the world in the coming months.

Photo courtesy of Playing Futures: Applied … via Creative Commons.

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Melissa McGlensey recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in English and Spanish with a minor in creative writing; she is currently interning at Ms. Read more from her at OhHeyMeliss.com.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Everybody outside of russia knew it was illegal… Hopefully they get out soon!

  2. What happened to the one girl that was secreted out to a hospital in Siberia, I think it was??

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