Amnesty International USA: Guarantee Safety of Pussy Riot and Release Them Immediately

TO Yuri Yakovlevich Chaika – Prosecutor General, Sergey I. Kislyak – Ambassador

While I welcome the news that Ekaterina Samutsevich has been released, I am concerned that it is only a conditional release with a two year probation period. I am also deeply disappointed that Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s sentences were upheld, as none of the women should have been prosecuted in the first place. Maria and Nadezhda are prisoners of conscience, and I call on you to ensure that all of the women are immediately and unconditionally released.

While it is true that many Russians were offended by Pussy Riot’s actions, the women never incited violence and they do not deserve prison terms. Their cathedral performance was a peaceful protest against President Vladimir Putin and those leaders of the Orthodox Church who have supported his repressive tactics.

Now, the two women face imminent transfer to a penal colony. I am particularly concerned about the harsh conditions these women will face, and I urge you to ensure their safety and to protect them from torture and any other forms of ill-treatment.


Their transfer to a remote penal colony, potentially thousands of miles away, will also compromise Maria and Nadezhda’s access to their families and to their legal teams. While the women continue to be imprisoned, it is critical that they serve their terms as close to Moscow as possible to ensure that they continue to have proper legal representation and regular contact with their families.

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