Amnesty International Disappointed by Appeals Court’s Decision to Uphold Two of the Women’s Pussy Riot Prison Sentence

Press Release
October 10, 2012

Amnesty International Disappointed by Appeals Court’s Decision to Uphold Two of the Women’s Pussy Riot Prison Sentence

Amnesty International Disappointed by Appeals Court’s Decision to Uphold Two of the Women’s Pussy Riot Prison Sentence

Human Rights Organization Welcomes Release of Ekaterina Samutsevich, But Deeply’ Concerned about Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s Possible Inhumane Prison Conditions; Calls on Russian Authorities to Release the Two Women Immediately and End Repression of Freedom of Expression

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @spksingh

(Washington, D.C.) – Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA executive director, issued the following statement in response to a Moscow’s Court’s decision to free Ekaterina Samutsevich and uphold Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova two year sentence. All of the three women were given a two-year sentence for "hooliganism on the grounds of religious hatred” for a protest song they performed in a Moscow cathedral in February 2012 and were designated Amnesty International Prisoners of Conscience.

"While Amnesty International welcomes Ekaterina’s release, we still find today’s decision extremely disappointing for Maria and Nadezhda. This is another blow to Russia’s self-described democracy and respect for the rule of law.  These women are artists who were exercising their human right to peacefully protest. They have been sentenced for the crime of performing a song.  We call for Maria and Nadezhda’s unconditional release so that they may return to their art without fear of reprisal.

“The persecution of Pussy Riot has become a global symbol of President Putin’s shameless intolerance for criticism and determined crackdown on freedom of expression and association.

“President Putin is turning his back on the demands of hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens for a free and participatory society. In targeting Pussy Riot he has managed to unite British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono and Aung Sang Suu Kyi and hundreds of thousands of others in Russia and around the world behind a call for their freedom.  Amnesty International calls on the Russian authorities to heed these demands freeing Pussy Riot and vindicating the human rights for all Russians.”

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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