The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Russia releases one Pussy Riot member

The oldest member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, of the jailed Russian rock band Pussy Riot walked free Wednesday after serving a few months of a two-year after dissenting against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church.

The other two members of the all-female band, however, are headed toward a penal colony as punishment for their irreverence toward Putin.

Samutsevich was released after her lawyers proved that she was not a part of the demonstration, which took place at Catherdral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. The rock band’s politically-charged song appealed the Virgin Mary to become a feminist and to save Russia from the evils of Putin on the eve of his re-election.

The three women convicted of “hooliganism” argued in court on Wednesday that their demonstration was not meant to insult Putin and was strictly political. Putin, on the other hand, recently stated that Pussy Riot’s two-year sentences were legitimate because “it is impermissible to undermine our moral foundations, moral values, to try to destroy the country”.

The judge ruled that Samutsevich’s jail sentence should be suspended because she was thrown out of the Cathedral before she had a chance to take part in the demonstration.

“If we unintentionally offended any believers with our actions, we express our apologies,” said Samutsevich in a statement during the hearing, who along with other band members Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova spoke in court Wednesday.

The band’s imprisonment has gathered international condemnation, as the women were held for six months without bail then sentenced to two years in prison for their demonstration.

Supporters of their case include many international musicians, such as Sting, Madonna, Yoko Ono and Bjork. Madonna revealed a Pussy Riot temporary tattoo across her back in a recent performance in Moscow.

The jailing is symbolic of the crack-down on freedom of expression and dissent in Russia. Amnesty International referred to the jail sentence as “a bitter blow for freedom of expression” in a public statement. Putin’s Russia has also moved to broaden its definition on treason, which incriminates human rights defenders.

Last month the Putin government removed the United States Agency for International Development and cancelled civic and human rights groups, which depended on its money.

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