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
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

Movies

Frank Miller on writing 'Sin City'

Frank Miller's comics career is a long and storied one, with "Sin City" being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words,…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to longterm happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. A new…

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.