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Tag: "Prison"

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Pussy Riot Prisoners Released

pussy riot 2AP is reporting that Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have officially been released from prison, following an amnesty approved by Russian president Vladimir Putin. The two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were imprisoned in 2012 for staging a protest performance at a Moscow church.

Their story, and particularly that of Tolokonnikova, who went on two hunger strikes before going missing for several weeks in the course of a transfer, has drawn international attention to both the injustice of their imprisonment and also to the conditions of Russia’s prison system.

The amnesty for the prisoners (a number of unrelated prisoners were also released) is widely viewed as a public relations move in advance of Russia’s hosting of the upcoming Winter Olympics. The newly-released punk rockers made it clear that they share this view.

“I think this is an attempt to improve the image of the current government, a little, before the Sochi Olympics—particularly for the Western Europeans,” Alyokhina said. “But I don’t consider this humane or merciful. This is a lie. We didn’t ask for any pardon. I would have sat here until the end of my sentence because I don’t need mercy from Putin.”

She said she would have refused the amnesty and stayed in prison if she’d had the choice.

Punk as hell.

@OurStage

More like this:
Pussy Riot Members Receive Amnesty, Will Go Free
Pussy Riot Member Reportedly In Serious Condition, Family Denied Access
Pussy Riot Declared Guilty Of Hooliganism, Receive Two Years In Prison, Remain Punk As Hell

Pussy Riot’s Nadia Still Missing, May Be Sent To Siberia

Though perviously assured by Russian prison officials that they would be informed of her whereabouts within 10 days of her transfer, the family of punk activist Nadezhda (Nadia) Tolokonnikova has still not had any contact with her, 17 days later. They believe she may be moved to a penal colony in Siberia.

To recap, months after her arrest and imprisonment for an illegal protest inside a Moscow church with her band, Pussy Riot, Tolokonnikova began a hunger strike to protest human rights violations she said were taking place in her original prison. She was moved to a hospital and then again to prison, where she either began or threatened another such strike. She was apparently then granted the transfer she had been petitioning for, but has now gone missing.

Tolokonnikova’s husband, Peter Verzilov, told Rolling Stone that an unnamed prison source provided the information that she would be sent to the new Siberian colony. He believes the move is the result of both Nadia’s hunger strike and the protests being staged by her supporters outside the prison where she was formerly held. He and his father-in-law have stated their belief that officials are trying to cut off her communication with the outside world as a form of punishment, and they fear she may still be sick, abused, or worse.

Follow @OurStage and @FreePussyRiot on Twitter for updates.

Russian Officials Address Reports Of Missing Pussy Riot Member

Tolokonnikova, right, with bandmates in court.

We last reported that Pussy Riot‘s Nadezhda (Nadia) Tolokonnikova had been granted a transfer to a new Russian prison colony, after she went on a hunger strike to protest conditions in her original prison. It was then reported by various outlets in the last few days that the activist and musician, who was arrested along with two bandmates after a 2012 public protest in a Moscow church, has gone missing.

Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service has now announced that Tolokonnikova has been moved to a new location and that her lawyers and family would be informed of that location within 10 days of the move.

Until her family confirms that she is indeed at a new location and that she is safe and well, concerns remain.

Follow @OurStage and @FreePussyRiot on Twitter for updates.

Lauryn Hill Sentenced To Prison Time Despite Settling Tax Debt

Fugees member Lauryn Hill returned to our headlines yesterday with the release of a brand new, albeit rushed track. Today she returns to our front page, but sadly the news is not as good for Ms. Hill.

Hill appeared in court yesterday to face charges stemming from a $900,000 tax debt she owed to the US Government. As a result of her offenses, Hill was sentenced to serve three months prison time starting in July.

Hill plead guilty to the charges last year, but had taken care of the outstanding debt prior to appearing in court. Nathan Hochman, Hill’s attorney, told Reuters that his client actually paid off her debt through a loan leveraged against two pieces of real estate. He said, “Ms Hill has not only now fully paid prior to sentencing her taxes, which are part of her criminal restitution, but she has additionally fully paid her federal and state personal taxes for the entire period under examination through 2009.”

Hochman asked for mercy because of Hill’s charity work and 6 kids, but the judge said no.

Hill was present during the hearing, and delivered a statement to the judge in which she compared her situation to slavery, stating “I was put into a system I didn’t know the nature of. … I’m a child of former slaves. I got into an economic paradigm and had that imposed on me.”

Lamb Of God Vocalist Randy Blythe Indicted For Manslaughter

Just when we all thought it was over, it turns out Randy Blythe, frontman for the metal band Lamb Of God, is still being indicted on manslaughter charges for the 2010 incident in the Czech Republic, which resulted in the death of a young man at the band’s show. Blythe was originally arrested last summer when the band returned for another tour in the country. He spent over 5 weeks in prison before being let go on bail and returning to the U.S.

However, upon his return, the singer released a public statement saying, “I consider the charge leveled against me ludicrous and without qualification, [but] my opinion makes no difference in this matter. The charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain…It would be both irresponsible and immoral for me not to return to Prague if I am summoned.”

Now it looks like that time has come, and the family will continue to press charges. Thus, true to his word, Blythe will return to the Czech Republic to go on trial, where, if found guilty, he could face 5-10 years in prison.

If you like Lamb Of God, then you might also like OurStage’s own Neroxx.

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Randy Blythe Releases Statement After Prague Incarceration
Bands Behind Bars
Slipknot Bassist’s Doctor Charged With 8 Cases Of Manslaughter

Slipknot Bassist’s Doctor Charged With 8 Cases Of Manslaughter

Paul Gray, the late bassist for masked metal band Slipknot, passed away in May of 2010 due to an overprescription of painkillers by a Des Moines, Iowa doctor named Daniel Baldi. Now, according to Rolling Stone, 50-year-old Baldi is being charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter from overprescription, including Gray’s death.

While Baldi has pleaded not guilty to every count, if convicted he may face “up to 16 years in prison.” This is not the first time the doctor has been accused of medical malpractice; three other previous “wrongful death suits” are being “included in the criminal charges” as well.

Gray, a founding member of Slipknot, struggled for years with an addiction to drugs, which makes Baldi’s decision to prescribe him high doses of narcotics that much more negligent in the eyes of the court. Today, the band released a statement on their Facebook page, which reads as follows:

“As the loss of our brother Paul Gray is still very fresh for us in the Slipknot family, this new development has us all in a state of anger and sadness. The fact that this person took advantage of our brother’s illness while he was in a position to help others has outraged everyone in our family. We can only hope that justice will be served so this can NEVER happen to anyone else ever again! Our thoughts go out to the families of the other victims. We plan to cooperate as much as we possibly can to ensure this tragedy is never repeated, and to make sure this man pays for what he has done.”

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Kanye Blogs from Jail!

Kanye West: Shuttered in

Kanye West: Shuttered in

As far as I’m concerned, Kanye West gets the Blogger of the Year Award.  Despite getting arrested this morning for an altercation with photographers at LAX, he still managed to write 10 posts on his blog.

The whole incident was caused by (and caught on tape by) the wonderful/horrible people at TMZClick here to watch their videos.

Ok kids.  What lesson did Kanye teach us today?  Don’t ever, EVER, get in a fight at an airport on 9/11.

Ever.

Of course, Kanye’s continued blogging begs the question: Do they have WiFi in Los Angeles prisons?  As Kanye (or his ghost blogger) would say, “SIIIICK!

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