World

Russian punk rocker freed; two others remain in prison

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is shown on a TV outside the courtroom where she sought her release. She was denied.

Sergey Ponomarev/Associated Press

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is shown on a TV outside the courtroom where she sought her release. She was denied.

MOSCOW — One of the members of a feminist punk group convicted of hooliganism for storming into a cathedral and singing a protest song, unexpectedly won her freedom on appeal Wednesday. Two other band members had their sentences upheld and must serve two years in a prison camp.

Their case has won worldwide notoriety, with calls for their release from rock stars and political figures. Their target was President Vladimir Putin, who said last week that their sentences were just.

Advertisement

The members of the band went to the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral on Feb. 21, wearing balaclava ski masks, and sang a song against Putin. At their trial last summer, they were accused of inciting religious hatred.

The released woman, Yekaterina Samutsevich, had replaced her lawyers before a previously scheduled hearing. Her supporters were quick to point out Wednesday that the attorneys who originally represented her — Violetta Volkova, Nikolai Polozov, and Mark Feigin — are particularly disliked by Putin. Samutsevich’s father suggested that she was being rewarded for making the change; other allies saw an effort by the Kremlin to drive a wedge among members of the band, called Pussy Riot, and among other activists as well.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Band members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, both of whom have small children, kept the original defense team.

Washington Post

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com