General News

Russian punk stars to meet U.S. prisoners

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Feb 08, 2014 | 8:05am EST

Newly-free Russian punk stars Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are set to come face-to-face with American prisoners following a meeting with New York City mayor Bill De Blasio. The Pussy Riot stars had an hour-long private meeting with the mayor and his wife on Friday (07Feb14) to discuss prison reforms and the correctional system in America, and they expressed an interest in meeting some U.S. convicts, which de Blasio agreed to arrange. The pair said via a translator after the meeting, "We expressed the desire to visit some American prisons. We are extremely happy that this is possible." Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were jailed for two years in 2012 for hooliganism along with a third bandmember, Yekaterina Samutsevich, following a protest performance against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church. Samutsevich was released in October, 2012 when her sentence was commuted and Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were freed in December (13) as part of an amnesty. Since their release the pair has said they want to pursue careers as prison reform campaigners.

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