Both members of Pussy Riot released from jail

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has called for a boycott of the upcoming Russian held Winter Olympics

Both members of Pussy Riot released from jail

Photo: PA

Both jailed members of Pussy Riot have been freed from prison.

News of Maria Alyokhina's release was followed by the announcement of the release of fellow activist and bandmate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova earlier today (December 23). After her release from prison in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Tolokonnikova shouted "Russia without Putin" and also, reports BBC News, called for a boycott of February 2014's Russian held Winter Olympics, saying her release was "just cosmetic". She added: "I saw this small totalitarian machine from the inside. Russia indeed works just the way the prison colony. That's why it's so important to change colonies so that Russia would change, too," reports The Guardian. A third member of the group, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on probation in October 2012.

Maria Alyokhina, who was released from a different prison outside of Nizhny Novgorod today, also criticised Russian authorities upon her release, describing it as a "PR stunt". Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were released as part of an amnesty approved by Russia's parliament last week to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia's post-Soviet constitution.

Speaking to Russian television shortly after her release, Alyokhina said she would have preferred to have stayed in prison and that she would have turned down the amnesty release if she had been able to. "If I'd had an option to refuse the amnesty, I would have do so without any doubts," she said, according to Reuters.

"First of all I don't think it is an amnesty, it is a profanity, because it does not even free 10 per cent of prisoners. Secondly this amnesty does not apply to most [imprisoned] mothers and pregnant women because they are accused of very serious crimes. And the conditions these mothers are being held in do nothing for rehabilitation. So I don't think this amnesty is a humanitarian act - it's a PR stunt." It is alleged that the amnesty was announced in an effort to improve Russia's image ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, which begin in Sochi.

The feminist punk collective's members were given two-year sentences in August 2012 after their now infamous "punk prayer" protest at Moscow's Cathedral Of Christ The Savior. Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were both due to be released in 2014, having served some of their sentence prior to their trial. Earlier this year both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova went on hunger strike to protest prison conditions.

Read More On This Artist

More News
Damon Albarn says a new The Good, The Bad & The Queen is fully written
Arcade Fire discuss 'captivating' live shows on 'CBS Sunday Morning'
Ghostface Killah and Badbadnotgood announce collaboration album
Nine Inch Nails appear on TV show 'Austin City Limits' – watch
Muse complete 'emotional' first session for new album
Ice Cube: 'I still have the anger I had as a teenager'
Pearl Jam premiere new song 'Moline' live – watch
Government official commits suicide following death of 16 fans at South Korea concert
Primus to conceal five golden records as part of 'Willie Wonka' tribute album release
Massive Attack joined by TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe for first 'Pray For...
Gwen Stefani's new single 'Baby Don’t Lie' leaks online
Guitar signed by members of The Smiths, Stone Roses and New Order stolen from charity auction
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club cancel LA gig as drummer undergoes brain surgery
Skrillex and Rudimental to headline Snowbombing 2015
Slipknot stream new album '.5: The Gray Chapter' online
Julian Casablancas: 'I was hungover for five years'
Caribou streams eclectic Essential Mix featuring Daft Punk, Lil Wayne and The Zombies
Unheard Sleater-Kinney song discovered in new boxset - listen
K-Pop band 4Minute release statement following death of 16 fans at South Korea concert
'Celebrity Gogglebox': watch Noel Gallagher comment on 'The X Factor',...
Foo Fighters perform new single 'Something From Nothing' live for the first time - watch
Man gets life in prison for killing a teenager over loud music

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM