Friday, Apr 25 2014
All Cities
Choose Your City
'There are restaurants in Novosibirsk that are much cooler than Western ones'
dancer Sergei Polunin

Pussy Riot protester Nadezhda Tolokonnikova released on amnesty from Siberian prison hospital

By The Siberian Times reporter
23 December 2013

Her anti-Putin bandmate Maria Alyokhina was freed earlier from a jail west of the Urals.

Tolokonnikova, 24, left a jail hospital in Krasnoyarsk, shouting 'Russia without Putin'. Picture: Yury Saprykin

The pair were imprisoned for a Moscow cathedral protest stunt about the Orthodox church's alleged close relationship with Vladimr Putin, the Russian president. Their sentence of two years was lambasted in the West as harsh but many Russians, according to polls,  agreed they had insulted the church and saw their punishment as appropriate. 

Today, within hours of each other, the women, who both have small children, were released under an amnesty agreed by the Russian parliament last week.

Their prison sentences have turned the women - especially Tolokonnikova - into internationally recognisable figures, with far higher profiles than when the legal action was commenced against them for the anti-Putin stunt in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. 

Tolokonnikova, 24, left a jail hospital in Krasnoyarsk, shouting 'Russia without Putin'.

Pussy Riot protester Nadezhda Tolokonnikova released on amnesty from Siberian prison hospital


Pussy Riot protester Nadezhda Tolokonnikova released on amnesty from Siberian prison hospital


Pussy Riot protester Nadezhda Tolokonnikova released on amnesty from Siberian prison hospital


Pussy Riot protester Nadezhda Tolokonnikova released on amnesty from Siberian prison hospital

Tolokonnikova is released because the hooliganism clause fits the amnesty, and not because she is a mother of an underage child. Pictures: Andrei Tolokonnikov, Vesti.ru, Pyotr Verzilov

She had been moved here after complaining of a threat to her life and harsh labour conditions in her previous prison in Mordovia, south-east of Moscow. 

Alyokhina, 25, was the first to speak, saying she would travel east to Krasnoyarsk to meet her co-singer, while also claiming that the amnesty was a PR stunt. 

It coincides with the release of former oil baron Mikhail Khordokovsky, who served much of his decade-long sentence in souther Siberia. 

Like him, the two singers were cited in the West as 'political prisoners', a label strongly denied by the Russian authorities. 

'I don't think it's an amnesty, it's a profanation,' said Alyokhina, saying the release applied to only a few inmates.

'I don't think the amnesty is a humanitarian act, I think it's a PR stunt. If I had a choice to refuse (the amnesty), I would have done.'

Pussy Riot protester Maria Alyokhina released on amnesty from Siberian prison hospital

'I don't think it's an amnesty, it's a profanation,' said Alyokhina, saying the release applied to only a few inmates. Picture: Vesti.ru 

Yelena Pimonenko, senior aide to the Krasnoyarsk region prosecutor, said: 'Tolokonnikova is released because the hooliganism clause fits the amnesty, and not because she is a mother of an underage child.'

Her husband Pyotr Verzilov said: 'Two months out of the almost two years that the girls have served is not much. So the effect of this amnesty for Maria and Nadezhda is not really felt'. 

Comments (10)

Dear Elena, you have listed performances of Pussy Riot and collective 'Voina'. it's not fair.let's divide them
Alexander, Novosibirsk
28/12/2013 22:22
0
Sirs, do not confuse political activity and PR. Girls long requested. Shares in the subway, on the roof of the prison, on Red Square. Porn at the museum. They threw bottles at police in the urine. Impunity. Share in the temple they did on the advice of Ukrainian FEMEN. Putin tool, not a goal. The girls head is filled with garbage.
Elena, Russia
28/12/2013 13:08
1
Igor, are you sure that thousand percents?may be 146 percents?)
Alexander, Novosibirsk
26/12/2013 14:54
1
No matter how many bots will you summon to rig the voting, this is not changing:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2012/07/31/what-do-russians-think-about-pussy-riot-the-answer-might-surprise-you/

5% Russians think that PR should have been released. Five out of a thousand. There are your real numbers.
Igor, Volokolamsk
26/12/2013 12:34
2
To Barbara - everyone heard what they want to say loud and clear, don't you see? Clearer than you, obviously. Anything these girls really believed is that they could get away with any act of vandalism and public offense as long as there is a hint of anti-government in it, so that our swarm of foreign NGOs would rush to their rescue. So they did, but thankfully the court held to the public's opinion.
Igor, Volokolamsk
24/12/2013 16:19
14
You don't have to like what they say. The point is that these girls are championing the universal concept of free speech and the idea that everyone should have the right to say what they believe without fear of reprisals.
Barbara, USA
24/12/2013 11:36
13
Nope, I'm full of compassion and pardon - only for those who seek it. Seeing as those gals don't regret anything and say they want to repeat their stunt, I'm about to join any lawsuit against them once it happens and this time with clear recidivism on their part it should be a five-y.
Igor, Volokolamsk
24/12/2013 00:46
5
Jhuang, 'woman like this' - you mean - convicted? or brunettes? or?

Igor, hope you prepared already a bundle of sticks?
Ksusha , Omsk
23/12/2013 23:21
9
That's a typo. Witch, not bitch. And it seems they didn't learn the lesson.
Igor, Volokolamsk
23/12/2013 22:21
8
In America, we called women like this "bitch".
Jhuang, atlenta, USA
23/12/2013 20:15
8
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR49.3175USD35.6830GBP59.9474Other...