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Two members of Pussy Riot detained after protesting against film-maker's imprisonment

Maria Alyokhina and Olga Borisova were arrested in eastern Siberia but released after the judge found errors in the case files

by Anny Shaw  |  8 August 2017
Two members of Pussy Riot detained after protesting against film-maker's imprisonment
Maria Alyokhina (Image: © Zuma Press/PA Images)
Two members of the Russian artist collective Pussy Riot were detained for several hours by police on Monday for protesting against the imprisonment of the Ukrainian film-maker Oleg Sentsov. 

Maria Alyokhina and Olga Borisova were arrested in Yakutsk in eastern Siberia after unfurling a “Free Sentsov” banner and setting off coloured flares on a bridge outside the prison where the film-maker is serving a 20-year sentence. Sentsov was convicted of terrorist acts after voicing opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Other film-makers including Pedro Almodóvar, Ken Loach and Wim Wenders have all campaigned for his release.

Alyokhina and Borisova were taken to court for holding an unauthorised protest, but were released after the judge found errors in the case files, according to the Guardian.  

Alyokhina was previously imprisoned in 2012, for a performance with fellow Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich in which they criticised Vladimir Putin. They were sentenced to two years in jail for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova each served 21 months and are currently suing the Russian government over their trial and imprisonment. 

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