NYC mayor welcomes Pussy Riot to City Hall - New York News

NYC mayor welcomes Pussy Riot to City Hall

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In this undated photo, members of Pussy Riot were held in prison for years until pardoned by Vladmir Putin just a few months shy of their release date. In this undated photo, members of Pussy Riot were held in prison for years until pardoned by Vladmir Putin just a few months shy of their release date.

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is welcoming the Russian protest punk band Pussy Riot to City Hall.

Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are on a tour of New York and visited City Hall late Friday afternoon.

They've also appeared on the talk show "The Colbert Report" and at an Amnesty International concert in Brooklyn.

The women have been critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and political conditions in their homeland.

They were released in December after nearly two years in jail. They were convicted of hooliganism after they staged a protest in a Russian church.

De Blasio says he is a "tremendous admirer" of the duo. He applauded their defense of "human rights" and "free speech."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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