Pussy Riot pair arrested in Sochi

Two Pussy Riot members who were released from prison in December have been arrested in Sochi.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina had journeyed to the Winter Olympics intending to carry out a Pussy Riot performance, but were taken into custody accused of a hotel theft, reports the Guardian.

“We were just walking around Sochi when they grabbed us,” said Tolokonnikova by telephone from a police station. “They told us we are suspected of theft. Of course there has been no theft.”

Semyon Simonov, a local human rights activist who was also detained, said no official charges had been made. According to the police, the hotel where Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were staying had reported them for theft. Simonov said a total of 10 people had been arrested.

Not long after the arrest, Tolokonnikova confirmed on Twitter that she was in Sochi to carry out a Pussy Riot action: “The song is called, ‘Putin will teach you how to love the motherland'”.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina had served most of their two-year sentence for ‘hooliganism’ when they were released in December as part of an amnesty, widely seen as a way for Russia to boost its image ahead of the Olympics.

Update: CNN reports that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina have been released. However, Tolokonnikova’s husband, Petr Verzilov, told reporters that the pair “were put to the floor and beaten and physical force was used to them when they refused to be questioned without the presence of their lawyer, who was on his way to the police department.”

Tolokonnikova tweeted: “Unbelievable lawlessness, even we are amazed… Beat on the floor of the department, in the Olympic capital!” She also said that they will file a complaint with the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

Latest

Latest

Share Tweet