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

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…