General News

Russian punk stars to be freed early

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Dec 18, 2013 | 7:37am EST

Jailed Pussy Riot stars Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina are to be freed within two weeks. The women, serving two-year sentences for hooliganism, are included on a list of Russian convicts who will be released before New Year's Day (01Jan14) under an approved presidential amnesty. Lawyers for the pair confirmed on Wednesday (18Dec13) that their names are included on the list of those to be freed in a show of compassion to mark the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Attorney Irina Khrunova said once the list is officially published by the government, "all convicts subject to amnesty have the right to be released from prison. Tolokonnikova and Alekhina may be freed before New Year, as soon as the penal colony's governor prints the decree declaring them released from custody." Tolokonnikova and Alekhina were among three members of the punk collective jailed last year (12) for staging a protest against President Vladimir Putin at a Moscow church. The third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was freed in October last year (12).

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