Pussy Riot Seeks Sanctions Against Russia in Capitol Hill Visit

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 01:52 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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Pussy Riot, the famous Russian punk band freed from prison when the Olympics came to Sochi, has traveled to Capitol Hill to support additional sanctions against the country for its corrupt imprisonment of political dissidents.

The Associated Press reports that group members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina were accompanied by Ben Cardin, D-Md., chair of a federal panel that monitors human rights in dozens of countries, as they presented the names of 16 Russian officials they said deserve sanctions.

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"Silence is the most dangerous thing for a political prisoner," Tolokonnikova explained to a throng of media cameras. "Putin is not leading Russia to stability, but to complete instability and chaos."

Thus far, 18 Russians have public sanctions against them, meaning their assets are frozen and they cannot travel. The U.S. also has an undisclosed number with sanctions against them on a confidential list.

Among the 16 the women named were Russia's Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, officials who prosecuted Moscow protesters in 2012, and officials responsible for their own previous imprisonment for treason after they criticized Putin during a performance at the city's most well-known cathedral.

The pair also recently attended a literary gala supporting freedom of expression also attended by Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison, and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, AP reports. There, they asked that books be sent to political prisoners.



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