Sun, Oct 14, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Pussy Riot member vows to resume protests

‘CAREFUL AND CLEVER’:Freed Yekaterina Samutsevich says she was only given a suspended sentence and could be returned to jail after what she called a sham trial

The Guardian, LONDON

“When a person is in a mask and a dress, she can become anonymous again,” she said.

She thought Russia’s security services would step up their surveillance.

“I must live imagining that everything is listened to, everything is read,” she said.

Samutsevich said Alekhina and Tolokonnikova were happy with her release.

As they hugged goodbye inside the courtroom’s glass cage, her fellow band members said: “Finally, one of us is free.”

Samutsevich said: “They said: ‘Keep going with the group’ and I said: ‘Of course.’”

Alekhina, 24, and Tolokonnikova, 22, both mothers to young children, are expected to be sent to distant prison colonies to serve the rest of their sentence until March 2014.

“Masha [Alekhina] especially is suffering for her child,” Samutsevich said. “It’s a big blow for her. For Nadya too. They have hardly seen their kids.”

Samutsevich described her seven months in pre-trial detention as a time of cold isolation in which the system exercised “total control.”

Wake-up came at 6am and lights out at 9pm. In between, there were three meals a day — porridge for breakfast, soup or a potato for lunch and porridge or soup for dinner.

Once a week, she was allowed 30 minutes of privacy for a shower. Otherwise, she was led everywhere by a guard. She shared her cell with three women, all charged with economic crimes. They were subjected to random searches, as guards hunted for banned items such as mobile phones.

“That’s what they said, but they always read my letters.” Samutsevich said she would get around a dozen letters a day from supporters.

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