Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

Europe

Pussy Riot members released after being detained in Sochi

© Twitter/Nadzehda Tolokonnikova

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-18

Two members of Pussy Riot were temporarily detained by police on Tuesday along with several others in Sochi, where Russia is staging the Winter Olympics, band members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said on Twitter.

"We have been arrested ... and are accused of robbery," Tolokonnikova tweeted.

"When we were arrested, we were not performing any kind of action, we were just walking around Sochi. WE WERE WALKING," she added.

Tolokonnikova posted photos of herself apparently on the way to a police station on Twitter.

Alyokhina later said they were questioned without their lawyers present.

Tolokonnikova said that she and Alyokhina had been in Sochi for a day to record a musical film called, "Putin will teach you how to love the motherland."

"They dragged me across the floor of the police station assembly hall office by my face, they twisted my arms and threw me to the floor. Putin will teach you to love the motherland!" Alyokhina said on her Twitter feed.

Lawyer Alexander Popkov told reporters gathered outside the police station in Sochi's Adler district that officers had arrested 12-15 people, including Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, Reuters reported. The news agency said they were held for around three hours.

"They have been held over an alleged theft at a hotel," Popkov said. "They (the authorities) have refused to fully explain the reason for the detention."

Police later said that seven other people were detained in connection with a theft at the hotel where they were staying, all of whom have since been released.

Yevgeny Feldman, a photographer for Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was in Sochi to photograph a demonstration and was detained along with the Pussy Riot members.

Feldman said the group had been walking down a street near the seashore and were a long way from the Olympic Park when they were detained.

Tolokonnikova, 24, and Alyokhina, 25, previously served a two-year jail term for hooliganism motivated by "religious hatred" after performing a profanity-laced protest song against Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral in February 2012.

They have rarely been out of the spotlight since their release on December 23.

They had just returned to Russia after a tour through Europe and the United States. They appeared at an Amnesty International concert which included Madonna in New York, and told a press conference in Berlin on February 10 that they might run in this year’s municipal elections in Moscow.

Putin has staked his reputation on the Sochi Games, hoping they would show the world Russia's modern face more than two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AP)

 

Date created : 2014-02-18

  • RUSSIA

    Freed Pussy Riot members reunite, discuss human rights project

    Read more

  • RUSSIA

    Pussy Riot member urges Sochi Games boycott

    Read more

  • RUSSIA

    Second member of Pussy Riot freed in Kremlin ‘PR amnesty’

    Read more

COMMENT(S)