WASHINGTON, May 6 (UPI) -- Two members of the Russian punk-protest band Pussy Riot visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday to lobby U.S. senators to crack down on human rights violations in Vladimir Putin's Russia.
Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who spent almost two years in Russian prison for their "Punk Prayer" in a Moscow church, met privately with a group of senators, including Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
“It is my pleasure to welcome to the United States Capitol members of the Pussy Riot,” Cardin said. “We had a chance to talk with them about the conditions today in Russia, the experiences that they had, including the fact that they were arrested and sent to prison, how they had tried to help the citizens of Russia deal with the current deterioration of human rights in Russia.”
Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina called on members of Congress to add 16 more names to a list of Russian officials facing sanctions for human rights violations.
“These sanctions allow a huge number of people to talk about the human rights violations as a result,” Tolokonnikova said.