Amnesty Call For Pussy Riot Release

Open letter signed by U2, Michael Stipe, Radiohead, Arcade Fire...
Pussy Riot

Radiohead, U2, Arcade Fire and Michael Stipe are amongst the signatures on a new petition from Amnesty International calling for the release of Pussy Riot.

One year. 12 months. 365 days. Since a Russian court handed down a guilty verdict on three members of Pussy Riot, the band's fight for justice has become a global concern.

Completing their first full year behind bars, Amnesty International have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the plight faced by the two musicians who remain in jail: Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

A new petition has been launched, with the signatures already including the likes of Radiohead, Arcade Fire, U2, Michael Stipe, the surviving members of The Clash, Sir Paul McCartney, PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Madonna and many, many more.

You can make your mark HERE.

Check out the full text from the petition below. (via Pitchfork)

Dear Masha and Nadia,

As the one-year anniversary of your trial approaches, we are writing to assure you that, around the world, people are both still thinking of you and working for your release. Although you were the most visible of the protesters, we know that there were many other young people who have suffered in the protests, about whom we are also very concerned. But, in many ways, through your imprisonment, you have come to represent them.

Many artists voiced their concern when these charges were first brought against you, we had every hope that the authorities, in dealing with you, would show some understanding, a sense of proportion, even some of the wonderful Russian sense of humour, but none of the above were forthcoming.

The impact of your shockingly unjust trial and imprisonment has spread far and wide. Especially among your fellow artists, musicians and citizens around the world, including the many parents who feel your anguish at being separated from your children. While understanding the sensitivities of protesting in a place of worship, we ask that the Russian authorities review these harsh sentences, so that you may return to your children, your families and your lives.

The right to freedom of expression and dissent is a legitimate one and essential in any kind of democracy. You have been accused of what could be described as ‘a victimless’ crime, but in our opinion, in a just society, there can be no crime where there is no identifiable ‘victim’.

Your strength, bravery and fearlessness are an inspiration to us all.

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