Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, herself once one of the world’s most famous political prisoners, was among those who called on Moscow to release the jailed members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, imprisoned after when they made an unscheduled anti-Vladimir Putin appearance at the Moscow Saviour Cathedral, on February 21.
Samutsevich, freed by a Moscow court this week, promised to continue taking part in the band’s anti-Putin protests, saying she would be ‘more careful and more clever’ to avoid another arrest,” says the Guardian.
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During the two years that Inna Bazhibina spent in a Russian detention center on contraband charges, she met many women who were transferred on to serve out their sentences in penal colonies.
In letters back, her friends wrote of unpleasant conditions and grinding “moral” pressure.
But Bazhibina, who recorded her recollections in an essay for Russia’s Public Post website, says it may be far worse for Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who are soon to leave relatively comfortable detention cells in Moscow for dismal penal colonies hundreds of kilometers from home.
She predicted the women would be sent to one of Russia’s more notorious penal colonies. “These girls are something different, their case has political connotations. They’ll get sent to Mordovia — that will be the order. It’s tougher there — the climate, swamps, mosquitoes,” Bazhibina says.
“They say that there’s always a problem with water there. With water in general,” she adds. “The girls [there] give up on hot water altogether. Why do they all have short hair? Because there’s a problem with washing their hair. And how will you clean yourself? You have to use the kettle to heat water.”
Twenty-four-year-old Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, 22, are facing two-year prison sentences for their role in a colorful protest against President Vladimir Putin in a prominent Russian Orthodox cathedral.
The three were sentenced to two years in a prison colony for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” following their anti-Putin punk prayer in the cathedral.
Jon Newton — myblogdammit
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