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Pussy Riot To Be Freed Under Russian Amnesty

This week, Russia has confirmed that the remaining jailed members of Pussy Riot are to be freed early under the terms of an amnesty bill approved by Parliament in honor of the 20th anniversary of that country’s post-Soviet constitution. But apparently not before Vladimir Putin issued a parting shot.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, as reported by NDTV and NME, Putin (who backed the amnesty bill) emphasized that their release was accompanied by no apology.

“I was not sorry that they ended up behind bars. I was sorry that they were engaged in such disgraceful behavior, which in my view was degrading to the dignity of women,” he said.

Three members of Pussy Riot were charged and convicted of “hooliganism” for an anti-Putin “punk prayer” at a Moscow cathedral in 2012. One of the three was released on a suspended sentence; the other two were scheduled for release in the spring of 2014. Putin referred to the incident as a “PR campaign” that “crossed the line.”

“The court decided to punish them, not for that, but for other actions,” he said.

The controversial trial, conviction and imprisonment of the Pussy Riot members sparked a media frenzy worldwide as free speech issues were once again brought to light, and their imprisonment evoked an outpouring of support from prominent musical artists worldwide. The issue has remained a PR nightmare for the Russian government as the jailed members wrote letters of protest from behind bars and went on hunger strikes to expose bad prison conditions.

The amnesty bill will apply to thousands of non-violent inmates within the Russian prison system, including 30 Greenpeace members who allegedly attempted to interfere with Russian oil drills. However, Putin denied any direct correlation between the amnesty bill and these imprisonments.

“The amnesty has nothing to do with Greenpeace or this band,” he said.

The jailed members of Pussy Riot may be released within the next few days.


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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

David Tillman is an independent composer/arranger whose primary work involves writing jingles for commercials for radio and television, with several film and television placements to his credit as well. David has a fascination for all things related to the music business and the music industry in general, an obsession which his wife finds to be mildly unhealthy at times. His personal tastes in music are in electronica and industrial rock, and include The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk and Nine Inch Nails (he loves that Trent Reznor is writing soundtracks!). When not in his office or in his man-cave, David enjoys skiing, hiking, the occasional game of golf, and sometimes just lounging by the pool. David lives with his wife and three children in Los Angeles, CA.

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