Former Pussy Riot members arrested in Sochi

The Office of Internal Affairs of Sochi confirmed that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, former members of notorious "punk band" Pussy Riot, were detained in connection with a theft committed in the hotel where they stayed. Currently, the police interrogate all guests of the hotel.

The head of the police department of Adler said that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were not taken to a police station formally. The girls were invited for interrogation, lawyer Alexander Popkov said.

The fact of arrest of Pussy Riot members was made public from Tolokonnikova's Twitter. The two girls were detained in the afternoon on February 18 near the Seaport in Sochi. In addition, journalist Eugene Feldman tweeted that "Nadia and Masha of Pussy Riot were arrested on suspicion of theft by a large number of police and men in civilian clothes." Feldman himself was also among the detainees. The journalist wrote that there were seven people taken into custody in total. Some media wrote about 12-15 detainees.

As Tolokonnikova said, she and Alyokhina arrived in Sochi to perform their song "Putin Will Teach You How to Love Homeland." The activists were going to shoot a music video for the song in the city. At the moment of detention, according to Tolokonnikova, they were not holding any actions, but were just walking down the street.

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were pardoned in December 2013. Their prison term was to expire in March 2014. In August 2012, the members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for their punk prayer in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

In the beginning of February, Pussy Riot officially announced that Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were expelled from the band. On their LiveJournal page, it was said that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina stopped to represent the band as soon as they became public figures and lost their anonymity.


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