Pussy Riot - Freed Russian Punk Star Vows To Continue Protesting

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Freed Pussy Riot star Yekaterina Samutsevich has vowed to continue voicing her opposition to the Russian government, despite the risk of finding herself back behind bars.

The feminist rocker and two other bandmates were sentenced to prison spells last summer (12) after being found guilty of hooliganism following the performance of a protest song against President Vladimir Putin at a Moscow church.

Samutsevich was released from prison in October (12), when her sentence was commuted, but Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova remain behind bars after losing their latest appeal last month (May13).

Samutsevich reveals the rest of the group, who are determined to stay anonymous, have been going to great lengths to keep their identities hidden since the arrests, but they are refusing to walk away from Pussy Riot - and she has no plans to quit either.

She tells Salon.com, "The goals are the same as they've always been: promoting ideas of equality, feminism, and art. Finding artistic forms for protest. What we've succeeded in is this: our form of protest is very difficult to stop. Our videos can be seen all over the world, and they inspire people all over the world to stand up against the problems that exist in their countries.

"Even if the problems can't be stopped, our videos continue to be seen, and we hope they serve as an inspiration to people in their own countries fighting against dictatorial tendencies."

The singer claims Russian authorities had been watching and waiting for the group to do something that would allow them to prosecute the punk stars - but, despite her recent imprisonment, she is adamant she will not turn her back on the band: "I've never had that thought. I see no reason to end Pussy Riot, or oppositional activity in general."


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