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Russian amnesty passes, Pussy Riot to be freed!

Pussy Riot

As mentioned, a Russian amnesty bill was on the table this week that could potentially mean an early release for imprisoned Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who would otherwise finish their two-year sentence in March. That amnesty passed yesterday (12/18) and Reuters reports that they will indeed get early release, though an exact date has not been set:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday two jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot would be freed under an amnesty but described their protest against him in a church as disgraceful.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, and Maria Alyokhina, 25, are serving a two-year jail sentence for performing a crude “punk prayer” against Putin and his ties to the Russian Orthodox church in Moscow’s main cathedral.

The two women had been due for release in March but are now expected to be freed sooner under the amnesty, in part because both are mothers of small children.

The amnesty will also enable 30 people arrested in a Greenpeace protest against Arctic oil drilling to avoid trial – removing two irritants in ties with the West before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics in February.

Hooray for Pussy Riot! (and about time)

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