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Pussy Riot Update

Posted by purplemary54 on October 5, 2013

It’s been well over a year since three members of the Russian Punk group Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years of prison for protesting Putin’s totalitarian regime in Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church’s compliance with that regime.  (See my original post for the full rant.)  Since then, Russia has descended even further into oppressive madness by making any mention or displays of homosexuality a crime.  Since then, one of the women was released.  Another, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, continues to fight for the rights of the oppressed (which would include herself at the moment) by going on a hunger strike to protest the horrible conditions at the prison she’s in.  She ended her strike after nine days, but her current medical condition is not good. (See here for more info.)

I don’t always understand extremes in protesting, but things have got to be pretty dire if you’re denying yourself one of the essentials of life in order to get someone to listen to you.  Tolokonnikova wants to be moved to another prison, or she’ll begin her hunger strike again.  Her actions have made public what I’m pretty sure everyone instinctively knew: That conditions in hardcore prison labor camps are beyond cruel.  While I believe incarceration is sometimes necessary for certain people, pretty young Punk musicians/protesters aren’t among them.  And I certainly don’t believe prisoners should be treated like slaves, or worse than cattle.  There must still be some respect paid to human dignity.

Toward that end, The Voice Project has begun a Support Pussy Riot Fund to help Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina while they’re in prison.  It’s a good cause.  They’ve even got cool t-shirts.  Give if you can.  And if you can’t, remind people that two women are imprisoned for something that would’ve had them picking up trash in a park and owing the local court a couple hundred bucks here.  Pass this information on, any way you like.  Keep mentioning their names, and the names of all the other prisoners of conscience around the world.

To help prisoners of conscience in other ways, visit Amnesty International.  (And I just realized that’s the U.S. site, so my international followers should click here.)

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