Pussy Riot: 'The Russian Government Listen To Our Telephones'

Freed member of the punk collective says the women were under 'constant surveillance' in prison.

Ultimate Guitar

The freed member of imprisoned Russian punk collective Pussy Riot has claimed the Russian Government are listening to their telephones.

Speaking to NME, Yekaterina Samutsevich said the group are still under close surveillance. Samutsevich was released from prison on October 10 on appeal after her lawyers successfully argued that she hadn't even managed to take her guitar out of its case before being kicked out of the cathedral.

When asked if she will keep participating in Pussy Riot actions now she's free, she replied: "Yes, I don't want to sit home and do nothing. But it's a more complicated situation for me now. I must act more carefully. They listen to our telephones."

When asked what conditions were like in prison, she said: "It was like Groundhog Day. We were all under constant surveillance. All our correspondence was read. In terms of other things: food, a shower once a week, everything was bearable. But if they try to take me back I'll go insane."

Samutsevich speaks out as the two remaining imprisoned members of Pussy Riot have been separated and sent to prison camps far away from their families. The conditions in the camps are reported to be brutal, with the other members of Pussy Riot calling them "the harshest camps of all the possible choices".

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who has a four-year-old daughter called Gera, has been sent to Mordovia, about 300 miles east of Moscow. Meanwhile, Maria Alyokhina, who has a five-year-old son called Filipp, has gone to Siberia's remote Perm region, which is about 700 miles east of the capital. The areas were used for mass prison colonies in the Soviet era.

Three members of Pussy Riot were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" in August following an impromptu gig at Moscow's main cathedral in protest against Vladimir Putin's re-election and sentenced to two years in jail. Their punishment has seen condemnation across the music world with a raft of artists including Paul McCartney, Bjork and Madonna speaking out against the harsh verdict.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    So first they get thrown in jail for performing an anti-government themed song in a cathedral. Then one of them gets off because she didn't have her guitar out yet? That is one of the most ****ed up legal systems I have ever heard of.
    I am so sick of seeing these stupid little bitches. Hey two of them are mothers, they could always stay home and be mothers? Just an idea.....
    Pussy Riot: "The Russian government listen to our telephones." Also, the sky is blue (or gray where I live) and Dave Mustaine is an imbecile. OT: Their music sucks and this was kind of a stupid thing to do, but it shouldn't be illegal, right? Just shows Putin is totally paranoid, 'cause if I was a dictator I wouldn't take them this seriously
    Till From Kenig
    Putin (or whoever stands behind their arrest) is quite wise guy. Punk-feminists singing in church are quite unpopular between the majority of russian citizens. Very strong support for Pussy Riot that was shown by our liberal opposition only strengthened already existing alienation between the liberal opposition and the majority of russian public. Divide and conquer, that's logic that lies between the Pussy Riot arrest. Not to mention what effect has the world wide attention to PR. Putin used to play on anti-western moods that are quite popular in russian public. So now he has his lucky hour. And one last thing that bothers me in the PR situation is that western attention to them is absolutely unproportional. We've got some russian citizens recently put in jail for participating in anti-Putin rallies. But no one ****ing mentions them! Everyone is obsessed with pathetic punk-group that played with fire for a long time and finally got burned.
    Till From Kenig
    And by the way, the husband of Tolokonnikova (member of PR) has a long story of cooperation with KGB (like showing faces of radical activists, which led to multiple arrests or acting as a stoolie during anti-government manifestations). Makes me wonder: did the government just wisely used the occasion, or...
    Sammy Mantis
    These people are mothers? Then again, playing anti-establishment songs with your punk band...They gotta have their priorities.
    Why exactly can't they do both? What, if a woman has a hobby that leaves no time for her children? That makes no sense.
    Sammy Mantis
    What they did does not fall under a "hobby". They antagonized the Russian government knowing damn well where it could leave them, and sure enough, now they're in a prison camp and their children are currently motherless. And for what? You're talking as if they went out for a jog in the park and perhaps a coffee afterwards.