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Pussy Riot to set up rights group


Russia

Pussy Riot to set up rights group

Two members of freed Russian punk band Pussy Riot say they will set up a human rights group which will work with prisoners.

They claim their release is being seen as an attempt to clean up Russia’s human rights image before the Sochi Olympics and is not a humanitarian gesture.

The group they intend to start would be called ‘Rights Zone’.

Maria Alekhina says the government will not help:

“If we want a decrease in the crime rate, if we want thousands of people to be released, not with thoughts about repeating offences but with constructive ones, then we must work on it and this is our job. The authorities will not do it.”

They said Rights Zone would be crowdfunded, and will not be asking another freed camp inmate and former oligarch for financial help:

“We offered co-operation to Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky but in no way did we mean financial co-operation. For us he is important as a very strong person, an unbelievable personality. If he does co-operate with us it will be conceptual and an exchange of ideas,” stated Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

Three members of Pussy Riot were jailed for two years after performing a profanity-laced punk prayer in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

They were freed as part of a presidential amnesty.

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