Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina sit in a glass-walled cage in a court in Moscow on Oct. 10, 2012.
Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova, 24, andMaria Alekhina, 25, will be freed from prison three months before their scheduled release, according to Reuters. The two women and fellow band memberYekaterina Samutsevich were arrested for performing Punk Prayer: Mother of God Drive Putin Away from Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedralon Feb. 21, 2012. Their crime: "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility."
While Samutsevich successfully appealed her sentence, the other two punk rockers remained, despite global cries for their release. Earlier this week, a new Russian amnesty law was passed. According to The Associated Press, prisoners "who haven't committed violent crimes, first-time offenders, minors and women with small children" are granted amnesty from their imprisonment. During their time, Alekhina went on a hunger strike and Tolokonnikova wrote an open letter, protesting the treatment of prisoners. Just days after that letter was posted, she disappeared for 21 days during a prison transfer, showing up in a Siberian prison hospital.
In a news conference, President Vladimir Putin expressed no regret for the Pussy Riot members. "I was not sorry that they ended up behind bars," he said. "I was sorry that they were engaged in such disgraceful behavior, which in my view was degrading to the dignity of women."
Check out some of our most read stories from 2013:
#shortyellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Terrorism Warning: Memo says terrorists practicing dry-runs on Florida flights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Courtroom apology: Woman apologizes for flipping off judge
Weird ice: Strange, giant circles appear on frozen pond
Controversial Club: College student organizes "White Student Union"
CFO Trouble: School administrative chief in trouble over her porn sex blog
Warning Shot Wife: Mother gets 20 years for firing warning shots at abusive husband
Science Arrest: Teen girl arrested over science project explosion
Wait, WHAT?? Dog shoots man in the leg with a handgun
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here