Pussy Riot Members Attacked With Green Paint
Posted by Joseph Lee on 03.07.2014
The Guardian reports that Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were attacked at a McDonald's in Nizhny Novgorod by men who poured garbage and bright green paint on them. They also shouted obscenities and told them to "[Go] to America!". They shot paint into their faces with syringes.
A video of the incident has appeared online. At one point, Tolokonnikova has green stains on her face and hands. She said: "It hurts! Why are you doing this? You don't have the right to hurt me. Please don't do that to anyone anymore."
Alyokhina suffered head injuries and Tolokonnikova had chemical burns. The men wore St George ribbons, which mark the win over Nazi Germany in World War II.
The two women spent almost two years in prison for their "punk prayer" protest against Vladimir Putin in a Russian Orthodox church in Moscow. It was praised in the west and Pussy Riot were called activists who fight for freedom of speech. However, in Russia there is a lot of support for Putin and the country as a whole is socially conservative. Pussy Riot is not well-liked over there.
The two were released from jail in December. They went to Sochi last month to film an anti-Putin video during the Winter Olympics. They were detained by police and beaten with a whip by Cossacks, who were helping with security.
Alyokhina wrote on Twitter that they were attacked on their way to a local penal colony where she stayed during her sentence. After their release from jail they said they would fight for prisoners' rights. Tolokonnikova blamed the police.
A police spokeswoman said: "They can say it was a provocation by the law enforcement authorities. The law enforcement authorities can say it was a PR-stunt by Pussy Riot. We don't deal with rumors."