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It was reported yesterday by a Russian newspaper, that the locked up members of feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot could be released under amnesty.

However, today it’s been announced their sentences will be thrown out anyway. The Supreme court has declared the band members’ sentences as ‘unlawful’, according to their official website.

Attorney Irina Khrunova, who represents Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina has made this statement:

“We don’t know what the motivations are, nor the grounds [for the decision]. This could be the lack of evidence for the crime, or the forms and length of the punishment, or some other technical formal reasons. This will become known when we can obtain the decision of the Supreme Court ourselves. The Court, in reviewing our appeal for supervision, considered it justified in some part, and opened up a supervision case and sent the criminal case for substantive review to the presidium of the Moscow City Court. We can expect that in the next month, the date for review will be scheduled. The defense attorneys of the convicts are expected to take part in the proceedings. On the one hand, this does not mean that the sentence against Pussy Riot is overturned, because the Moscow City Court presidium can’t decide that issue, but on the other hand, it’s a very good signal. The highest court of Russia did not agree with the sentence issued in the case of Pussy Riot.”

Yesterday it was reported by Daily broadsheet the Izvestia that an amnesty bill was submitted on Monday by President Vladimir Putin and would apply to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, who were sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism, after a protest at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour cathedral in 2012.

The bill posted by the Kremlin, apparently applied to women who have children and haven’t committed violent crimes. This was applicable to both Tolokonnikova and Alekhina. However, now that the sentences have been thrown out, this is no longer applicable as the Russian Court didn’t agree with original charges anyway.

Many have interpreted this as a public relations move ahead of the Sochi Olympics, which open February 7th.

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