In NYC, freed members of punk band Pussy Riot critique human rights situation in Russia

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By DEEPTI HAJELA, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Two members of the Russian protest punk band Pussy Riot want Americans attending the Winter Olympics to look beyond the buildings and facilities created for the games and take a hard look at their country.

Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova made their first public appearance in the United States at a press conference in New York on Tuesday. They're scheduled to take part in Amnesty International's "Bringing Human Rights Home" concert in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

The women were released in December after nearly two years in jail following a conviction for hooliganism when they staged a protest in a Russian church. They've been critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and political conditions in their homeland.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia begin Friday.

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