Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Crime & Courts

Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina freed from Russian penal colony

See also

(Updated) Due to a recent amnesty law passed by the Russian parliament, 25-year-old Maria Alyokhina of the punk rock band Pussy Riot was released from a penal colony in Russia on Dec. 23.

Alyokhina’s bandmate, 24-year-old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, is expected to be set free any time now, according to NBC News.

The two, who were serving two-year after performing a crude "punk prayer" against President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow's main cathedral, had been due for release in March but are being freed sooner under an amnesty declared by Putin.

A third member of Pussy Riot, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, was also sentenced to two years in prison along with her two bandmates, but was set free after serving six months because she did not actually participate in the anti-Putin protest and the performance at Moscow's main cathedral.

Last week, after learning of his daughter’s impending release, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s father Andrei said that the release of the female Russian rockers was “clearly a public-relations move” tied to the upcoming Sochi Olympics.

"It is an absolutely cynical game of the central authorities," he said while waiting for his daughter to be released in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk.

The amnesty law announced by the Russian parliament was designed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Russia’s constitution.

Hopefully, Tolokonnikova will be set free in time to spend Christmas with her family. During her imprisonment, Tolokonnikova has gone on hunger strikes citing intolerable conditions in her penal colony, including “slavelike labor, threats to her life and prison officials who enforce their demands by enlisting inmates to beat each other up.”

Most recently, Tolokonnikova’s whereabouts in the Russian prison system became a complete mystery as she was secretly spirited between gulags.

Both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova are mothers to young children.

For more on Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina's release from prison, see the video accompanying this article.

Update: The Guardian reported today that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was freed from her Russian prison in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk today, just hours after Alyokhina was released.

Upon her release, Tolokonnikova shouted "Russia without Putin."

Welcome home ladies!

Also see:

Pussy Riot members being released from Russian prison early

Connect with Rich Webster on Facebook and Twitter.

To receive e-mail alerts to Richard's Domestic Crimes articles, Subscribe Here to Get Instant Updates.

E-mail alerts are free, private and secure, and you won't get any ink on your fingers.

Advertisement

News

  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
    Headlines
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
    Headlines
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
    Sports
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Video
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • Nigerian Police Officer at Bombing Crime Scene
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518198260" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518198260&autoStart=true"></div>
  • IRS SWAT?
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517533191" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517533191&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Grandma left chilling murder-suicide note saying parents didn’t deserve their kids
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517685435" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517685435&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!