Two members of Pussy Riot arrested in Sochi

Two members of the punk activist group Pussy Riot were detained and subsequently released in Sochi – the host city of this year’s Winter Olympics – on Tuesday following hours of police questioning.

The group’s most famous members, Masha, 25, and Nadya, 24, (their full names are Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova), were seen leaving the police station wearing their trademark balacvlaas on Feb. 18. Nadya’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov, said the band was accused of theft at a local hotel, though no charges were filed.

Meanwhile, Nadya has accused the Russian police of harassment. “We members of Pussy Riot have been here since late Sunday and we were constantly detained since then," she said. "We are constantly surrounded by people, not you journalists, but people who are shadowing us, following our every move and looking for any excuse to detain us."

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The two women achieved international status after they were imprisoned in Russia for speaking out against President Vladimir Putin and his homophobic policies in 2012. They spent 21 months behind bars before they were released on an amnesty bill on Dec. 23, 2013, prior to the Olympic games.

The persecuted group has since garnered the support of internationals and celebrities alike, including Madonna, who introduced the two women before they spoke at a New York concert for Amnesty International on Feb. 5.

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