De Blasio Welcomes Pussy Riot to City Hall

Friday, Feb 7, 2014  |  Updated 11:09 PM EDT
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De Blasio Welcomes Pussy Riot to City Hall

Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray meet with former members of the band Pussy Riot at City Hall on Friday, February 7, 2014.

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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."

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