Members of the all-girl punk band "Pussy Riot" Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (R), Maria Alyokhina (R) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (C)
ANDREY SMIRNOV

Days after two Pussy Riot members were released from jail ahead of their scheduled March 2014 release, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have said they will no longer be using the Pussy Riot name.

Speaking at a press conference, the feminist activists said they are starting a new human rights group called Zona Prava ("Justice Zone"), which will focus on protecting prisoners' rights. "We are not Pussy Riot now," Tolokonnikova said. Alyokhina added, "We can promote our cause without playing any shows. And we will never play any shows for money."

Tolokonnikova continued, "I wouldn't rule out political plans, but in the near future we will be focused on human rights activities." Alyokhina said, "Still, human rights activities in Russia are inevitably linked to politics."

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were serving two-year sentences for the anti-Putin "punk prayer" they performed at a Moscow cathedral in February 2012. Celebrities and political figures from around the globe, including Madonna and Paul McCartney, called for their immediate release.