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Jailed members of Pussy Riot 'undermined the ideals of the group'

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Earlier today CBS This Morning and the New York Post reported that Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, jailed members of the Russian activist group Pussy Riot, have recently spoken out regarding human rights abuses in Russia and President Vladimir Putin. While Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova have once again turned the American public's eye toward Putin's questionable leadership, it seems as though their actions have caused Pussy Riot to distance itself from them.

As reported by this Examiner on September 23rd, 2013, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova each served two-year sentences for their participation in the February 2012 performance of a punk rock prayer at the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Tolokonnikova went on hunger strike while incarcerated. In a letter to her husband, Tolokonnikova likened the current Russian penal system to that of Stahlinist era gulag labor camps.

Despite this, the activist group Pussy Riot says they no longer recognize the membership of Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova.is. This announcement was made through a letter posted to the Pussy Riot blog earlier today and addressed to the former members. As reported by Yahoo News, the group has stated that:

We're a female separatist collective. We never accept money for our performances ... We only stage illegal performances in unexpected public places.

This quote refers to a benefit concert held on February 5th for Amnesty International—a nonprofit organization which proclaims to defend human rights. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova partnered with Madonna, Yoko Ono, and the band Imagine Dragons to speak out about Vladimir Putin and human rights abuses, calling for a free Russia and a boycott of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

According to CBS This Morning, Pussy Riot claims that Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova “have undermined the ideals of the group.”

While the benefit concert for Amnesty International does go against the stated usual practices and ideals of Pussy Riot, it seems as though Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova have managed to bring a lot of attention to critical issues. This Examiner has to ask if the ideals expressed by Pussy Riot are, in this instance, counterproductive to their cause.

Did you find this article interesting, or do you have more information to add? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! You might also find these articles interesting:

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova goes on hunger strike, by April Pettit

Femen to celebrate one year of topless international activism, by April Pettit

Pussy Riot Takes America By Storm--Via Colbert Report, by Greg Mitchell

April Pettit writes on the topic of Women's Issues for Examiner. To read what April has to say on this and other topics, visit her blog.

You can also follow April's writing career on Facebook and Twitter, or by Subscribing to her Examiner page.

You can contact April via email at april.m.pettit@gmail.com.

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