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Freed Pussy Riot punk slams Kremlin amnesty as 'PR stunt'

23 december 2013, 17:02
0
Pussy Riot bandmember Maria Alyokhina, who was freed from prison Monday under a Kremlin-backed amnesty, slammed the measure as a mere publicity stunt and said that she would have preferred to remain in prison, AFP reports.

"I don't think it's an amnesty, it's a profanation," she told the Dozhd television channel, saying it only applied to a tiny minority of convicts. "I don't think the amnesty is a humanitarian act, I think it's a PR stunt."

After spending about one year and ten months in prison for staging a "punk prayer" in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to protest Vladimir Putin's re-election, she said her opinion of the president hasn't changed and she would have refused his amnesty if she could.

"My opinion of the president hasn't changed at all," she said. "If I had a chance not to take advantage of this humanitarian gesture, I would definitely not take advantage of it."

"In this situation, I was just a body being moved in space, nothing depended on me," she said. "If I had a choice to refuse (the amnesty), I would have, without a doubt," she said.

"Not even 10 percent of convicts are being freed," she said, noting pregnant females convicted of serious charges would remain in prison.

She said she planned to continue fighting for the rights of her fellow inmates in the Nizhny Novgorod prison camp whose rights she said were being violated.

"The hardest thing in prison was to see how people give up, they drop their hands, and turn into a mass," she said.

"Defending human rights is the activity that I plan to take up," she said.

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