Freed Pussy Riot Members to Start Human Rights Organization

Freed Pussy Riot Members to Start Human Rights Organization
The controversially incarcerated members of Pussy Riot were finally freed earlier this week (December 23), and now Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina have announced plans to launch a human rights organization aimed at protecting prisoners.

Billboard reports that the pair revealed their plans at a press conference today (December 27) in Moscow. Their organization is called Zona Prava (which translates as Justice Zone or Rights Zone).

"We feel a huge responsibility for people who are in prisons," Tolokonnikova told reporters.

Interestingly, the women apparently don't intend to use the Pussy Riot name to help them in their campaigning. They hope to work with long-jailed businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was also recently released.

Tolokonnikova explained, "Khodorkovsky is very important for us as a very strong and resilient person. We hope to be able to collaborate on an ideological level."

They're not planning rely on him as a financial sponsor, and RT notes that the activists plan to raise money through crowd funding.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina won't directly enter politics — at least not for now — but they called for Western nations to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Clearly, the Pussy Rioters' plans are inspired by their experiences behind bars. Both women had a rough experience in prison, and the last couple of years have been filled with hunger strikes, hospitalizations, denied paroles and even a mysterious cross-country transfer.