Image for Pussy Riot’s Yekaterina Samutsevich Set Free, Other Two Sent To Prison Camp

Pussy Riot’s Yekaterina Samutsevich Set Free, Other Two Sent To Prison Camp

Written by Kiel Egging on October 10, 2012

A Moscow court has decided to free one member of the band – Yekaterina Samutsevich, but has sent the remaining two members – Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to a prison camp.

The band members were each sentenced to two years jail in August after they went into Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in February and staged a performance criticising Russian President Vladimir Putin.  On that occasion, the court found them guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.”

However, according to ABC News, at the group’s hearing earlier today, the court decided to give Samustsevich a suspended sentence because she did not stand on the altar during the protest.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova’s sentences have been upheld, and they are expected to be sent to prison colonies, likely far from Moscow.

“We will not stay silent even if we are in Siberia,” Alyokhina said.

One thing which may have helped Samustesvich in her freedom bid was her decision to change lawyers at the first hearing of their appeal on October 1.

ABC News reports Samutsevich’s new lawyer, Irina Khrunova, argued her client did not take part in the band’s ‘Punk Prayer’ protest with her bandmates as a security guard had grabbed her and her electric guitar just as their performance began.

“The Punk Prayer took place without Samutsevich. She had already been taken out of the church,” Ms Khrunova said.

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