‘Pussy Riot’ Members Speak Out After Early Prison Release

Pussy Riot Members Speak Out After Early Prison Release

“Pussy Riot” members speak out after early prison release, bringing the questions of political persecution and hooliganism sparked in 2012 back in to the minds of Russian citizens. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, two of the seven former members of the punk band Pussy Riot, ran a press conference on December 27, where they talked about prison conditions, their plans for the future, and the fate of Pussy Riot. Although they say they intend to continue to fight against Putin’s iron clad regime, they will be going about it in a very different way. After seeing the distortion applied to their performance by the Russian media, the two women are planning to make change through more conventional channels. The two say they will not leave Russia as they have a lot of work to do to accomplish their goals, which they are holding onto even more strongly after their ordeal.

In February 2012 Pussy Riot screamed a punk prayer packed with obscenities from the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. Understandably, there were several followers of the church and clergy members that were upset with this, and the band was thrown into Russian prison on a two-year sentence for aggravated hooliganism. When the story got out globally, the length of the sentence caused the discussion to change from whether or not the group chose an appropriate way to protest government to whether or not they were being politically persecuted. Although Nadezhda and Maria were released early due to amnesty from Putin, the pair feel that the move was nothing more than a PR stunt from a leader who knows he has done wrong and must hide it. Now that the members of Pussy Riot speak out after early prison release, they once again have a large share of the global spotlight with which to illuminate their goals motives.

The press conference in which Pussy Riot members speak out after early prison release centered around their plans to fight for prisoners’ rights after they described horrible treatment during their year behind bars. Although both Nadezhda and Maria say they will continue to fight to expose the underlying flaws and hypocrisies of the Russian government under Putin’s control, this cause will take a back seat to prisoners rights. Claims of rotten food, abuse and slave labor were among the complaints brought to light by the duo, all of which underwent criminal investigation. Despite harsh scrutiny of overseers of several Russian prison colonies, no evidence of the misdeeds could be found. After a year of supposed sixteen hour work days with four hours of sleep a night, Pussy Riot is fighting mad and going to bat to make change for those trapped in the Russian penal system. Immediate plans for the band include disbanding, dropping the Pussy Riot name for the more conventional, if less attention grabbing, moniker “Rights Zone.” Punk music will be put on the back burner while the group focuses on righting wrongs in both the Russian government and its prisons.

By Daniel O’Brien

Sources

BBC News
RT.com
Brisbane Times

One Response to "‘Pussy Riot’ Members Speak Out After Early Prison Release"

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