Paul McCartney writes letters in support of Alekhina and Tolokonnikova

posted 27 May 2013, 03:24 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 May 2013, 03:50 ]
23 May 2013 

Source: (info)
Paul McCartney has written two letters to Russian authorities expressing his support for the imprisoned members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and urging that they be released on parole.

The texts of the letters can be found on the musician's official website, reported

In the letter in support of Maria Alekhina, McCartney said he was certain that her continued detention would not only harm Maria, but would negatively affect the whole situation, “which, of course, is being watched by people all over the world.” He stated that for those following the case, the release of Alekhina would be a positive signal “in the great tradition of fair-mindedness which the Russian people are famous for.”

In the second letter, concerning the fate of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, McCartney requested that the Russian authorities show mercy and set Tolokonnikova, a member of the band Pussy Riot, free.

The court is currently considering whether to grant parole to Alekhina. On 22nd May, Alekhina announced a hunger strike in protest against the ban on her attendance at a previous court meeting.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was denied parole at the end of April.

Alekhina and Tolokonnikova were each sentenced to two years imprisonment for their ‘Punk Prayer', performed at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. The court classified their actions as 'hooliganism'. Another member of Pussy Riot, Ekaterina Samutsevich, also received a two-year sentence, but on appeal this was changed to a suspended sentence.

In August 2012, a few days before the verdict was announced, Paul McCartney wrote a letter to the members of Pussy Riot. In it, the musician extended words of support to the young women and expressed hope for their acquittal.