Pussy Riot plans to boycott Sochi Winter Olympics

Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in courtPhoto credit: Andrey Svitailo/Metro Russia.
Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in court.
Credit: Andrey Svitailo/Metro Russia

The recently freed members of the punk protest group Pussy Riot will be less musical and even more political as they fight for human rights in Russia. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have revealed plans to set up a new human rights organization called Zona Prava (Justice Zone), which will focus on protecting prisoners’ rights.

The pair hope to collaborate with former tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was also released in a broad amnesty just weeks before the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova spoke to Metro about their new project, the future of Pussy Riot and their thoughts on the Sochi Games.

Metro: When will your human rights organization begin to work?

Alyokhina: In late January, our organization Zona Prava will be officially registered. Even before this its website will be set up, and all the information about it will appear across social networks.

What will be the first actions Zona Prava will carry out?

Alyokhina: The very first actions will be directed towards specific people with whom we are connected; they are convicted women who testified before human rights activists about what’s going on in the penal colonies. These people are subjected to repression, and we intend first and foremost to legally protect them. The issue is about court cases and grievances made against various departmental and prosecutorial authorities.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky has also been released under amnesty. Will you collaborate with him?

Tolokonnikova: It’s possible. A collaboration with Mikhail Khodorkovsky is still being considered, but for now we are not able to say anything concrete. Information on how he responded to our proposal is confidential.

Will Pussy Riot ever perform again?

Tolokonnikova: It still exists and will continue to exist. Pussy Riot produces songs and videos but has long ceased to be a group – it has turned into a social movement, which in future will continue to evolve.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi take place next month. Will you boycott them?

Tolokonnikova: Yes, as citizens of Russia, we will boycott the Games. We will also call for all Russian citizens who do not agree with the current government’s policy, as well as foreign representatives of different countries and companies, to boycott the event.

 

Pussy Riot: from protest to prison

• February 21, 2012: Five members of Pussy Riot perform a profanity-laced “punk prayer” protest against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, the city’s main Russian Orthodox church.

• March 5, 2012: Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are arrested on a charge of hooliganism. Another band member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, is arrested later.

• July 20, 2012: The band’s trial opens in Moscow. Putin says the three women “should not be judged too harshly.”

• August 7, 2012: The three are convicted and given two-year prison sentences.

• October 10, 2012: A Moscow appeals court orders Samutsevich released, but upholds the sentencing for Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova.

• October 24, 2012: The pair begin serving their sentences at remote prison camps.

• September 23, 2013: Tolokonnikova begins a hunger strike protest. She is moved to a medical ward after refusing food for five days.

• December 23, 2013: The two are released under a new amnesty law passed by the Russian parliament, but describe their release as a public relations stunt by the Kremlin ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins edge Red Wings in…

NHL video highlights: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime of Game 4

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 14-5

Felix Doubront struggles for second time in five starts

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.