Hillary Clinton Photo With Pussy Riot Protesters Goes Viral

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 01:19 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's support for the Russian pop group Pussy Riot has gone viral, with more than 9,000 retweets on Twitter and nearly 11,000 "favorites."

Clinton is pictured in the tweet between former Russian political prisoners Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina in a photo that was taken backstage at the Women in the World Summit in New York.

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The pop stars were jailed in Russia on charges of inciting religious hatred after they had performed a profanity-laced song attacking Russian President Vladimir Putin in February 2012 at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior, according to USA Today.

While spending nearly two years in jail, they held hunger strikes and had to be hospitalized. The singers were released in December before completing their sentences under an amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia's constitution.

According to Reuters, they were cleared last week on the inciting religious hatred charge, but a Russian court upheld a hooliganism charge against them and only reduced their sentences by one month, even though they had been freed.

The pop stars-turned-protesters spoke at the Women in the World Summit over the weekend, demanding more rights for political prisoners and urging women to make their voices heard by their appointed political delegates, according to The Daily Beast.

"Politicians are simply government workers, and they work for you," Tolokonnikova said to cheers. "You are the people who hired them, and you have the right and moral responsibility to control and direct their activities. Anyone can be Pussy Riot."

Clinton told the same summit at the Lincoln Center last week that the media have a "double standard" for how they talk about women in public life, and she encouraged women to be resilient in the face of setbacks.

"We have all experienced it or at the very least seen it," Clinton said. "The double standard is alive and well, and I think in many respects the media is the principal propagator of its persistence."

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