Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina detained in Sochi, Russia

By Daniel S Levine,
UPDATED

Former Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina have reportedly been detained by Russian officials in Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics are being hosted. The group has been vocal about their opposition to President Vladimir Putin’s rule and had recently been released from prison under amnesty.

While Russian officials have not said much of anything about the protesters were detained earlier today, human rights activist Semyon Simonov, who was also detained, confirmed to The Washington Post that they were picked up for theft at a hotel.

The women, who were just in the U.S. to tour prisons here, were picked up in downtown Sochi, far from the Olympics. However, they were taken to a police section closer to the Olympic park. Seven others were also detained.

Tolokonnikova also spoke with The BBC, confirming that she and her bandmate were detained for “theft.” They have been in Sochi since Sunday and hoped to perform the song “Putin Will Teach You To Love Your Motherland.”

Tolokonnikova actually claimed to the BBC that they have been detained several times since they went to Sochi, which she called a “police town.”

The two, who believed their release in December was just a publicity stunt before the Olympics, have not been charged. They had spent nearly two years in prison, having been charged for hooliganism for a protest in a Moscow cathedral.

CNN now reports that police have confirmed that the women were released. "A survey in connection with the theft at the Hotel Adler is completed, there is no claim against those questioned," a statement read.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 
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