Dear Prosecutor General,
I am writing to express my deep concern about Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, who were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for their participation in a February 2012 protest action by the feminist punk-rock group Pussy Riot at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
These two women, both mothers in their twenties, were detained solely for their peaceful expression of their beliefs. They are Prisoners of Conscience.
I call on you to ensure that Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are immediately and unconditionally released. While they remain incarcerated, the two women must not be ill-treated by prison staff or inmates, and they must be allowed regular contact with their families and legal teams.
In closing, I welcome the news of Ekaterina Samutsevich’s freedom, but remain concerned about the conditional status of the release. The three Pussy Riot members should not have been prosecuted in the first place. I call on you and all authorities to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression in the Russian Federation, and to remedy the unjust treatment of these young women immediately.
I thank you for your attention.
Amnesty International at the University of Florida (UFAI)