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Pussy Riot Meets Hillary Clinton

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While Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were attending the Women In The World Summit at the Lincoln Center in New York Friday, a Moscow court cleared the two of their inciting religious hatred charges stemming from one of their live rock shows.

Alekhina and Tolokonnikova were found guilty of hooliganism with religious undertones of hatred after a live set at Moscow’s main cathedral in March, 2012, and were sentenced to two years in prison. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on a suspended sentence just months after the hooliganism conviction.

Here’s a clip of the antics that garnered Pussy Riot their charges of hooliganism, after engaging in their “punk prayer”:

Tolokonnikova and Alekhina were freed from prison due to an amnesty legislation which some watchdog groups viewed as a Kremlin public relations stunt in time for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Russian lawmakers had said that the new bill, which the State Duma voted 446-0 in favor of, would likely free roughly 2,000 prisoners. The new laws applied to those who were non-violent offenders, and were catered mostly toward first-time offenders, minors and women with small children. Both Tolokonnikova and Alekhina have young kids, and were both set free in December of last year. Though, the hooliganism charges still stand, which carry a sentence of up to seven years.

The Russian courts then symbolically knocked off one month of each of Tolokonnikova and Alekhina’s sentences, as they are both technically free women. During an appearance on NBC’s Today Show Friday morning, Matt Lauer asked the activists if they thought the newly single Vladimir Putin had ordered their release to display his “softer side” to the world in time for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Tolokonnikova replied, “When we got released, we didn’t have any illusions at all that Putin’s regime became more liberal.”

Pussy Riot ran into former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Lincoln Center, and the probable 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate described the duo as being “strong and brave young women, who refused to let their voices be silenced.”

Image via Twitter

Pussy Riot Meets Hillary Clinton
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