Pussy Riot Women Sent To Draconian Work Camps




The Russian authorities have sent the two remaining jailed women from Art/Punk band Pussy Riot to a work camp. Their lawyers and supporters say that, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, have been sent to camps, far from home.

The pair were jailed for two years in August for performing an anti-Kremlin song in Moscow’s main cathedral, Christ the Saviour, on 21 February. They were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” over the anti-Putin “punk prayer”. The judge stated that the women had “crudely undermined social order” and shown a “complete lack of respect”,during their action in February. The Members of the band have always professed that their “punk prayer” was a political act in protest, against Church leader’s support of President Vladimir Putin, not an act against the Church itself. Conditions are reported to be tough and draconian at the work camps located in Perm and Mordovia, east of Moscow. Those areas were traditionally used for mass prison colonies in the Soviet era.

On Twitter the Pussy Riot group said : “At the weekend Nadya [Tolokonnikova] was sent on a special flight to Mordovia, while Masha [Alyokhina] was sent to Perm region. Those are cruellest camps of any that could have been chosen.”

The women lost their appeal in court earlier this month, although one of the members was released after it was brought to light that she never appeared on the alter in the protest. Last week the lawyers’ attempted to suspend the two-year sentence and defer it until their children had reached the age of 14. Both women have children under the age of six. The jail sentence was widely condemned internationally.


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