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Pussy Riot members Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova released from colonies

December 23, 2013, 15:28 UTC+3

Maria Alyokhina, a member of the scandal Pussy Riot punk group, flies to Krasnoyarsk to meet her friend Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, December 23. /ITAR-TASS/.Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a convicted member of the Pussy Riot punk group, was released from jail under amnesty on Monday.

She left the prison hospital in the Krasnoyarsk Territory on Monday. Her husband and many reporters were waiting outside near the exit to meet her.

Maria Alyokhina, a member of the scandal Pussy Riot punk group, who was released from jail earlier this Monday under an amnesty, headed for Krasnoyarsk to meet her friend Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who was released from the penal colony. “I just talked to her on the phone, she was released. I’ll get my bearings and go to the airport,” Alyokhina said, before entering her lawyer’s car.

Alyokhina said that she’s very grateful to local human rights activists, which supported her, adding that she planned to meet her son and mother in the next few days; she already spoke to them on the phone. 

December 18, lawyer Irina Khrunova said that Members of the Pussy Riot punk group Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina might be released by New Year's Eve.

In August 2012, Moscow's Khamovniki district court found three Pussy Riot activists - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich - guilty of hooliganism and religious hate during a scandalous 'punk prayer' in the Christ the Savior Church in Moscow. Each was sentenced to two years in a general regime penitentiary. On October 10, Moscow City Court softened the verdict for Samutsevich, giving her a suspended sentence. The sentences for the other two were left in force. Alyokhina served her term in the Perm Territory and then in the Nizhny Novgorod Region. Tolokonnikova was in Mordovia and later in the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

The Krasnoyarsk Territory, where Tolokonnikova was in jail in the last months before her release, is one of Russia's largest regions for the number of prisons. There are 24,500 suspects and convicts held in jails there. About 14,000 more are registered in services of the regional penitentiary system.


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