Author Topic: Pussy Riot band members sent to remote prison camps  (Read 1383 times)

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Pussy Riot band members sent to remote prison camps
« on: October 24, 2012, 17:02:03 PM »
Pussy Riot band members sent to remote prison camps

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to serve sentences in Russia's 'harshest prisons' in Perm and Mordovia

Miriam Elder in Moscow -, Monday 22 October 2012 11.32 BST

Pussy Riot band members Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage during their court hearing. Photograph: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty

Two members of the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot have been sent to remote prison camps to serve their sentences, the group has said.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, will serve the rest of her two-year term at a women's prison camp in Perm, a Siberian region notorious for hosting some of the Soviet Union's harshest camps. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, has been sent to Mordovia, a region that also hosts a high number of prisons.

"These are the harshest camps of all the possible choices," the band said via its Twitter account on Monday.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for performing an anti-Putin "punk anthem" in a Moscow cathedral in February. They argued that their conviction was part of a growing crackdown on free speech and political activism in Russia.

They are expected to serve the rest of their sentences, which end in March 2014, in the camps, where conditions are reportedly dire.

A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released earlier this month after being given a suspended sentence. Pussy Riot's supporters have argued that her release was designed to give the appearance of mercy from the authorities.

Confusion reigned on Monday as relatives and lawyers tried to assess exactly where the women were sent. Both Perm and Mordovia host several prison camps, some of which comprised the Soviet-era gulag system. Prison authorities declined to comment on the women's whereabouts.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova had petitioned to serve their sentences in Moscow, arguing that they wanted to be close to their children. Alyokhina has a five-year-old son named Filipp, while Tolokonnikova has a four-year-old daughter named Gera.

Offline Riney

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Re: Pussy Riot band members sent to remote prison camps
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 17:59:55 PM »

   Well, Russia has really shown their inability to show empathy here. No doubt for now, they have won their dirty little game against freedom of speech. But later who knows, by causing such a traumatic experience in these children that will now be separated from their mothers, they may have planted a seed that will grow into possibly the two fiercest freedom of speech fighters of their time in the future. These children will not forget I am sure, and when they become adults freedom of speech will still have to be fought, Russia may be in the midst of creating their own worst enemy.
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin .. and yet we must arm ourselves with fear