Pussy Riot Member Says Jail Involved Forced Daily Gynecological Exams

Illustration for article titled Pussy Riot Member Says Jail Involved Forced Daily Gynecological Exams

Today, as we race toward the Olympics, Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina says jail in Russia means weeks of forced, daily gynecological exams.

The recently-released international figure told the Guardian how these routine cavity searches affected her.

"I decided to become a human rights activist when I realised how easy it was for officials to make a decision and force women to be examined in the most intimate parts of their bodies. Russian officials should not stay unpunished, they cannot have this kind of absolute power over us."


There's even a special term for the practice, because it occurs so often in the Russian prison system, according to Zoya Svetova, a member of the Moscow Public Oversight Commission.

"Inmates call it 'to be let through the chair' – it is a part of searching process. That is the most humiliating thing for any woman. I am not sure how many times Alyokhina went through it - I guess every time she left the jail to go to court," Svetova said.

Pussy Riot members Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were released from prison this month under amnesty commuting their two year sentences for hooliganism stemming from a 2012 anti-Putin protest in a church. But the stint behind bars has only steeled Alyokhina in her quest to fight the Man, telling Rolling Stone that their release was just a publicity stunt by the Russian government.

Simply because of Sochi. They wanted to make themselves more attractive before the Olympic games. That's why they decided to do the amnesty. But the amnesty is not general — it's a lie. I'm the only one who's been released [from camp] and that's the problem. They won't let anyone else out. Formally, it's a general amnesty, but it's a lie. ... If I had had any possibility of doing so, I definitely would have refused this amnesty. I don't need it. I'm not guilty, I'm not a criminal, I don't consider it mercy.


Can't wait 'til Sochi! *sarcasm*

Image via AP


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Is it just me or are the Olympics doing a really stellar job of picking the worst possible human rights places they can (slight hyperbole there I suppose) to host the Olympics and pour obscene amounts of tourism into lately? Guantanamo Olympics 2016 here we come.