17 August 2012, 12:24
Tolokonnikova: we have been jailed for political reasons
Moscow, August 17, Interfax - Pussy Riot activist Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said she does not regret the "performance" staged in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which landed her and her two friends in jail, and does not believe they will get a fair trial.
"Of course not. We are happy that we have involuntarily become the epicenter of an enormous political event, which involves such various forces," Tolokonnikova said in an interview with Novaya Gazeta.
Tolokonnikova also said she does not believe she and her friends will get a fair trial. "I don't believe in a court ruling as such. There is no trial. It's an illusion," she said.
When asked whether the Pussy Riot activists intend to ask President Vladimir Putin to pardon them, Tolokonnikova said: "Putin? Are you kidding me? No, of course, we won't. He should be the one to ask us and you for a pardon."
Tolokonnikova also said she had not expected such a reaction from the authorities to the performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. "We genuinely had not expected criminal prosecution because we did not commit any crimes. We even did not suspect that the authorities would be so stupid as to prosecute anti-Putin punk feminists, thus making us legitimate in the social space."
Tolokonnikova also said she would not have left Russia if she had known they would be arrested. "No. It's not so easy to get rid of us. We'll see who wins," she said.
Tolokonnikova said she considers herself a political prisoner. "We were put behind bars for political motives, there is no doubt about that. Center E admitted that in private conversations with us in the detention facility," she said.
When asked whether Pussy Riot can be compared to the Ukrainian group FEMEN and whether FEMEN is essentially close to Pussy Riot, Tolokonnikova said: "No, they are not close to us. FEMEN has a different ideology. We oppose the position man-woman, and they insist on it. We like mobile, transgressive queer-identities."
Tolokonnikova also said she feels "very good" in detention and "will be doing fine."
"I write and read a lot. I take walks in the prison yard every day. The detention facility staff have generally changed their attitude to us over time. More and more detention facility officials now have sympathy for us and want us to be released. The public observer commission and those who are sending us food are helping us a lot with everyday practical problems. Thank you! Generally, I am not very concerned about everyday problems. It's not the main thing. All problems can be solved, there are always good people around who help at exactly the time when help is needed," Tolokonnikova said, referring to her life in detention.