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Pussy Riot Discusses Human Rights With U.S. Senators

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Two of the members of Russian protest group Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova, visited Capitol Hill. The two were seeking help from the Congress to include 16 of Russia’s politicians to the list of human rights violators who must face sanctions in the States.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova went into a private meeting with officials where they discussed the human rights violations that they had seen first-hand under the “dictatorship” of President Vladimir Putin. They are requesting the Foreign Relations Committee to lay down sanctions against the politicians.

In a news conference, Tolokonnikova said through a translator that they would “like to remind our government that they have obligations that they have signed that they have to honor.”

Both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were arrested in 2012 for staging a protest performance at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. They were charged with hooliganism and stayed in prison for nearly 2 years.

U.S. lawmakers can legally ban Russians on the list from traveling to the U.S.  They also have the legal power to freeze violators’ assets. To date, there are 18 people on the list, and some are already facing penalties.

Members of Congress showed appreciation to the two Pussy Riot members for speaking to them about Russia’s human rights abuse.

Senator Benjamin Cardin said, “The only way we’re going to get advancements on human rights is to put a spotlight on those who are violating human rights to stand up and make it clear that we will not accept these behaviors.”

Other politicians who were present in the private meeting include Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Cong. Steve Cohen, Sen. Chris Murphy, Sen. Jeff Flake, and others.

Pussy Riot was founded in 2011 and the group consists of more or less 11 women who are opposed to the ways of President Vladimir Putin. Their protest performances typically touch on issues related to LGBT rights, womens rights, and feminism.

Pussy Riot: ‘Putin Lights Up The Fires’

Image via YouTube

Pussy Riot Discusses Human Rights With U.S. Senators
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