Two Pussy Riot Members Jailed Again Just After Release

Maria Alyokhina (file photo)  

Two members of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot have been sentenced to jail again just after being released, amid a crackdown on the group’s members in recent weeks.

A court in Moscow on July 8 sentenced a founding member of the protest group, Maria Alyokhina, to 15 days in jail on a charge of disobeying police.

Alyokhina was detained the previous day outside a detention center where she had been held for 15 days for a similar offense.

Another Pussy Riot member, Aleksandr Sofeyev, was also sentenced to 12 days in jail on July 8 for alleged petty hooliganism. He was similarly detained outside of a Moscow detention center the day before after serving 15 days for the same offense.

Last week, a Moscow court sentenced another Pussy Riot member, Nika Nikulshina, to 15 days in jail for allegedly disobeying police orders, just two days after she was released from another 15-day sentence on a similar charge.

Last month, another group member, Lyusya Shtein, was thrown in jail for 15 days for disobeying police orders.

Pussy Riot members have been repeatedly harassed and detained over the years for their anti-government protests and political activism.

Pussy Riot came to prominence in 2012 when Alyokhina and another noted member of the group, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, burst into Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral to protest ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Their protest, the performance of a song they described as a "punk prayer," took place as Putin was campaigning for his return to the presidency.

The duo were convicted on a charge of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and sentenced to two years in a penal colony. Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were close to completing their sentences when they were granted amnesty in December 2013.

In another stunt, Pussy Riot members interrupted the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow between France and Croatia by running onto the field wearing fake police uniforms.

The group says such protest acts are aimed at challenging government policies and raising awareness of human rights issues.

With reporting by Mediazona



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