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UPDATED: Pussy Riot Members Claim They Were Detained At Winter Olympics
Posted by Joseph Lee on 02.18.2014

UPDATE: Former Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina previously said they were not going to let themselves be afraid to return to Russia where they had been jailed for nearly two years and they have proven that...and nearly been arrested in the process. As previously reported, the two were detained yesterday and Billboard reports that they were detained again today, this time being questioned about a robbery.

Tolokonnikova said on Twitter:

As a result of releasing Pussy Riot from the police station, the station itself and the surrounding neighborhoods and streets were occupied with people greeting us

She added that cmeramen who came with the two to Sochi were assaulted in the station. Seven people who were detained alongside the two, including journalists, have been released as well.

No charges are being brought against them; a spokeseman for the local police said, "The questioning with regards to a robbery at a hotel in Adler has been completed. We have nothing against them."

ORIGINAL: Billboard reports that Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova wrote on Twitter that she and Maria Alekhina were stopped and accused of a crime while in downtown Sochi, home of the Winter Olympics. She said a third member of the group was also held. Local activist Seymon Simonov said that the two members were accused of theft and nine people were held.

Tolokonnikova added that the authorities used "force" during the incident near the ferry terminal area. There were booths at the location celebrating the Olympics. The area is 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of the Olympic seaside locations.

She wrote: "At the moment of detention, we were not conducting any actions, we were walking in Sochi. We are in Sochi with the goal of staging a Pussy Riot protest. The song is called `Putin will teach you to love the motherland.'"

She said they had been held for about ten hours on Sunday. The two were held today at a police station in Adler, a suburb of Sochi which is home to the Olympic Park. No charges have been filed.
The two sparked international support after they were imprisoned for two years on charges of hooliganism after a protest in Moscow's largest cathedral. The protest was against President Vladimir Putin's government. The two were eventually released in December, but the incident was ammunition for those against Putin's stance on human and gay rights.

The two Pussy Riot members visited the US and Germany for an Amnesty International concert. They said the performance at the cathedral was to raise concern about the ties between church and state. Russia has limited the protests in Sochi during the Games, ordering that any demonstration has to be approved beforehand and only in the neighborhood of Khosta. Khosta is between Adler and Sochi and unlikely to be visited by those outside the country.


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