Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova pardoned
Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been pardoned pursuant to a broad amnesty spearheaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin and adopted by the State Duma earlier in December. The amnesty was arranged to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina was pardoned and released from prison on Monday, December 23.
After being released from prison in Nizhny Novgorod, Maria Alyokhina went to the office of Russian NGO Committee Against Torture.
Mariya Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were jailed in 2012 for performing a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.
Alyokhina was expected to be released in March 2014, but was let out under a presidential amnesty marking the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 25, shouted “Russia without Putin” as she left the prison hospital in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, where she had been receiving medical treatment after staging a hunger strike at her previous jail over conditions for inmates.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said that she planned to campaign for the dismissal of a deputy prison governor at her previous prison colony in Mordovia, whom she had accused of threatening her life.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was greeted, among others, by her husband, political activist Pyotr Verzilov.
Describing Russia as an “authoritarian state,” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said that the line between freedom and imprisonment in the country was narrow, and that she felt a responsibility to help those who were still imprisoned.