To protest against Russia’s severe restrictions on free speech, Black Cross Lihtenvorde in the Netherlands allowed 450 people to race naked on its festival grounds.
The naked run for freedom, organizers says, symbolize “the vulnerability of those who want to speak the truth in Russia, but can not do it freely.”
As the video below shows, the naked run is specifically tied to the Free Pussy Riot campaign.
Maria Alekhina, a prominent environmental activist, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been put in prison for 2 months without trial, simply on suspicion of taking part in the anti-Putin actions of feminist punk band Pussy Riot. The women have 4- and 5-year-old kids waiting for them at home. They both face up to seven years in prison.
The prompt to begin the naked run in the Netherlands was given by Yekaterina Stanislavovna Samutsevich around 14:30 via Skype from Russia. Runners wearing nothing but helmets and sneakers in the Netherlands show support for Russian punk band Pussy Riot.
Samutsevich, also known as Katya, is a member of Pussy Riot. She was released on probation as a result of a technicality.
“That the freedom of speech is suppressed in Russia is a fact,” Samutservich said. “Those who care about freedom of speech, will understand our actions.”
- Russian court: Pussy Riot member to stay in jail (thenewstribune.com)
- Russian court rejects Pussy Riot member parole bid (sacbee.com)
- Pussy Riot’s Tolokonnikova Again Seeks Early Prison Release (rferl.org)
- Pussy Riot member denied parole (bbc.co.uk)