Former Pussy Riot Members Among Activists Arrested, Released at Sochi

Activists earlier detained by Russian police in Sochi have been released, without charges, after being questioned and held for several hours.

According to AP:

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, two prominent yet former members of the punk rock activist band Pussy Riot, were arrested in the city of Sochi on Tuesday along with other activists who had traveled to the site of the Olympic Games.

Authorities have said they are being held on accusations of theft, but Tolokonnikova told a journalist by phone from the jail that, “Of course there has been no theft.”

“We were just walking around Sochi when they grabbed us,” she said, though indicated the group may have been planning a political action.

As CNN reports:

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And the Guardian adds:

The Olympic games in Sochi have been the site of various protests, many of which have targeted the repressive anti-gay laws enacted by the Putin government and a broader call to end Russia’s restrictive and authoritarian legal system.

Though Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina have in many ways become the international face of Pussy Riot, the other members of the underground band have made it clear in recent weeks that though they support their former bandmates and fellow activists, the two should no longer be considered active members of the group.