Protestors at a rally for Pussy Riot in 2012 - photo courtesy Eyes on Rights Humanitarian Photography via Flickr (

Pussy Riot singers freed under new Russian amnesty law just in time for Sochi

Pussy Riot, the all-female Russian punk band, saw two of its members jailed last year following their now-famous “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. A new amnesty law, which comes conveniently before the February start date of the Winter Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia, freed bandmates Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova just this week. Pussy Riot is outspoken in its support of feminism and LGBT rights, two positions (of many) that don’t make them too popular with the Russian Orthodox Church. From the Los Angeles Times: 

“The Moscow Patriarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed satisfaction with the amnesty and offered a gesture of conciliation. ‘We are happy they were released and although we denounced their blasphemous act, we never insisted that they should have been put in prison to begin with, but it is the way the law is,’ Vladimir Vigilyansky, spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchy, said in an interview.