Pussy Riot - Jailed Russian Punk Star Launches Freedom Bid
Jailed Pussy Riot star Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has made a desperate bid for freedom by applying for release on parole just eight months after she was locked up.
Tolokonnikova was found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" in August last year (12) alongside two other members of the band after they performed a song criticising Russian President Vladimir Putin at a church in Moscow.
She was sentenced to two years in prison and is currently serving her time at a tough labour camp in Mordovia, but Tolokonnikova has now submitted papers asking for maximum early release - even though she knows she has no chance of being granted the request.
She tells British newspaper The Guardian, "For me, the parole hearing means nothing. In our case, the government wants us to recognise our guilt, which of course we won't do. I submitted the parole documents to show that they cannot break a person."
Officials at a Russian court will rule on the parole application later this month (Apr13).
Tolokonnikova's bandmate Maria Alekhina was also sentenced to two years in prison, but Yekaterina Samutsevich was released in October (12) when her sentence was commuted.