Pussy Riot Members Granted Amnesty and Freed From Prison

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A supporter shows her message written on her helmet during a protest rally organized to free pussy riot on August 17 2012 in Toronto, Canada.
  • Photo from shutterstock.com
  • A supporter shows her message written on her helmet during a protest rally organized to free "pussy riot" on August 17 2012 in Toronto, Canada.

Finally, the members of Pussy Riot were given amnesty and released three months earlier than expected.

The feminist punk rockers were wrongfully arrested for performing Punk Prayer: Mother of God Drive Putin Away from Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral in February 2012. Nadya Tolokonnikova, 24, and Maria Alekhina, 25, were charged with "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility."

Pussy Riot and 30 other protesters were freed because of a new Russian law that granted prisoners amnesty "who haven't committed violent crimes, first-time offenders, minors and women with small children" passed earlier this week, according to AP.

During their time, Alekhina went on a hunger strike and Tolokonnikova wrote an open letter, protesting the treatment of prisoners. Just days after that letter was posted, she disappeared for 21 days during a prison transfer, showing up in a Siberian prison hospital.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed no sympathy during the press conference on Thursday.

"I was not sorry that they ended up behind bars," he said. "I was sorry that they were engaged in such disgraceful behaviour, which in my view was degrading to the dignity of women."

(via Reuters & USA TODAY)

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