Music

A Christmas Miracle? Jailed Pussy Riot Members to Finally Be Released


Inmate’s husband says Putin’s pardon is a sure thing.



It’s been more than a year and eight months since the members of Russian riot grrrl band Pussy Riot performed “A Punk Prayer”—which lambasted the country’s sexism and religious inflexibility—in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. And it’s been nearly just as long that two members, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, have been in jail for participating in the protest, each charged with “hooliganism,” which in Putin’s Russia is a serious crime. Now, according to BBC, it looks like an amnesty bill drafted by Russian President Putin could actually free the women who have been serving an unnecessarily harsh sentence—Tolokonnikova was even moved to a Siberian prison after going on a hunger strike over the conditions where she was originally incarcerated. There was some doubt about whether Putin’s bill—a presidential pardon that applies to “women who have young children and who have not committed violent crimes,” would actually release the two Pussy Riot members, both mothers, whose Kafka-esque plight against the Russian justice system gained worldwide support from the likes of Paul McCartney and Madonna. But Tolokonnikova’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov, confirmed the rumors: “It’s from the Kremlin and official already, they will be freed,” he said. An exact date is still unknown, but we’re readying our neon-colored ski masks and tuning our proverbial guitars in preparation of celebrating hard—and in true Pussy Riot fashion—when it happens.

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