September 10, 2012
President Vladimir Putin
Office of the President of Russia
23, Ilyinka Street
Moscow, 103132, Russia
Dear President Vladimir Putin,
I'm writing on behalf of Radical Women to demand the immediate release of the women from punk feminist collective Pussy Riot -- Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich. As an international socialist feminist organization, we are appalled by the heavy-handed, thug-like response to their political protest.
The women were convicted on charges of hate-motivated hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison for their "Punk Prayer" in the Temple of Christ the Savior on February 21, 2012. They caused no harm to the attendees or the structure. How does this qualify for any time behind bars?
Across the world people are appalled that these women were locked up for expressing their deep dissatisfaction with the policies of the church and the state. They were making a political statement, not engaging in a hate crime. Their trial and verdict are the latest examples of the Russian's government's attempts to discourage dissent and stifle free expression.
As the women were already in detention for five months before their sentencing they have served more time than they should have. The only just thing is to overturn their conviction, release them immediately, and stop the hunt for other women who were allegedly involved.
Radical Women, U.S. Section