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Cardin praises release of Russian punk band

Sometimes elected officials surprise you.

Sen. Ben Cardin

Sen. Ben Cardin

Such is the case of Sen. Ben Cardin who, in a message on Twitter Monday, praised the release of the all-female Russian punk rock protest band called Pussy Riot.

“Glad #PussyRiot is[no] longer being held as political prisoners. Hoping this is a sincere move by Russia and that ’14 brings freedom to more,” Cardin (or a staffer) wrote on his social media account.

Three members of the band, which has been highly critical of Russian President Vladamir Putin for cracking down on dissenters in that country, were convicted of hooliganism and imprisoned in 2012 after performing the song “A Punk Prayer” at a Russian Orthodox church.

CNN reported that Russian government said the release of the band members was related to mark the 20th anniversary of the country’s post-communist constitution.

It’s more likely that the 70-year-old Maryland senator was interested the human rights angle related to the release of the final two members from a Siberian prison than he is a fan of their music.

But who knows? Sometimes people surprise you.