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Pussy Riot Kicks Jailed Members Out Of Band

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Pussy Riot has become an internationally known name in the past couple of years, with millions of people urging President Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders to grant them amnesty after three members of the punk band were arrested for “hooliganism” following a concert they held at a cathedral in Moscow. Now, two of those women–Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova–have become the famous faces of the band, and the other members are none too happy. In fact, they have severed ties with both of them and have ousted them from their group.

Six members of the group have written an open letter this week after Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova appeared at an Amnesty International concert at the Barclays Center, saying the women have strayed from their ideals.

“Our performances are always ‘illegal,’” the letter stated, “staged only in unpredictable locations and public places not designed for traditional entertainment…the world has acquired two brave, interesting, controversial human rights defenders. Unfortunately, we cannot congratulate them with this in person, because they refuse to have any contact with us.”

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were sentenced to two years in prison for their impromptu concert at Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012, but were released in December. The third member who was arrested, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was freed in October of 2013. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova have said that they fought to stay in prison for the duration of their sentence so that they could research the horrifying conditions the other women faced, but were not allowed to stay. Now, they have made it their mission to help other people who have been imprisoned for sharing their beliefs in a non-violent way.

“A month ago we were freed from Russian prison camps. We will never forget what it’s like to be in prison after a political conviction. We have vowed to continue helping those who remain behind bars,” they said in a statement. “We are happy to support Amnesty International’s work on behalf of human rights and political prisoners. We, more than anyone, understand how important Amnesty’s work is in connecting activists to prisoners.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Pussy Riot Kicks Jailed Members Out Of Band
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