After recently announcing that they’re suing Russia, formerly jailed Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have now launched their own independent news service, Mediazone, focusing on Russia’s “Justice Zone” and protecting prisoners’ rights.

The outlet plans to monitor Russian prisons, police stations and courts and has appointed political science journalist Sergey Smirnov as its editor-in-chief.

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova comments, “Since our release from prison 6 months ago we've felt that Russian media are no longer able to cover what is going on. Because of the heavy censorship by authorities there is no space for anything in the media that criticizes Putin's policies and tracks human rights abuses by Russian courts and law enforcement. Courts, prisons, arrests, convictions, riots in facilities, political criminal cases, crimes by law enforcement officials—our new media outlet will try to cover it all.”



Masha Alekhina adds, “There is hardly any political issues left in Russia outside of courtrooms – and there is a great need for transparency and media coverage of things that are happening down there, so we hope that Mediazona will help close that gap and change the face of independent Russian media.”

You can watch the original Pussy Riot performance at a Moscow church that got them arrested for hooliganism.

Photo via Stereogum