Home Breaking News Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina freed from Russian prison under amnesty

Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina freed from Russian prison under amnesty


Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina has been freed early from prison in Russia under an amnesty, her lawyer announces.

Her lawyers said Maria Alyokhina was now on her way to Moscow.

The release of fellow band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is also expected later today.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were jailed in August 2012 for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” after performing a protest song in Moscow’s main cathedral.

The conviction of the women was criticized by rights groups, anti-Putin activists and foreign governments.

Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina has been freed early from prison in Russia under an amnesty

Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina has been freed early from prison in Russia under an amnesty

Their sentences were due to end in March 2014, but they have known since last week that their release was imminent under an amnesty agreed by the Russian parliament.

On Friday Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky – once Russia’s richest man – was also pardoned and freed after more than 10 years in prison for fraud and tax evasion.

The amnesty deal, unanimously approved by the State Duma in Moscow last week, covers at least 20,000 prisoners, including minors, invalids, veterans, pregnant women, and mothers.

Charges against 30 protesters, mostly foreign nationals, who were arrested on a Greenpeace ship may also be dropped later this week.

The move is being widely seen as attempt to avoid controversy overshadowing the Winter Olympics in February, due to be hosted in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Maria Alyokhina was released from the prison camp in Nizhny Novgorod, east of Moscow, early on Monday morning. She reportedly told waiting journalists that she felt well, before being driven away.

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