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Ear to the Ground

Pussy Rioter Released from Jail

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Posted on Oct 10, 2012
AP/Sergey Ponomarev

Samutsevich exits the courthouse after winning her appeal.

A Moscow appeals court has unexpectedly freed Yekaterina Samutsevich, the oldest of the three members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot who were jailed for an anti-Putin performance earlier this year.

Samutsevich, who was found guilty of charges of hooliganism in August, served six months in a pretrial detention center. The two others sentenced will serve out the remainder of their two-year terms in a Russian prison colony.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

A panel of three judges accepted the argument of Samutsevich’s new lawyer that she had not participated fully in the group’s February performance of an anti-Putin “punk prayer” in a Moscow cathedral. Samutsevich had been kicked out of the cathedral shortly after entering, meaning she did not engage in the “aggressive movements” that had offended Russia’s Orthodox believers, she argued.

The other two women, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, hugged Samutsevich goodbye. They will now be sent to prison colonies to serve the remainder of their two-year terms.

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