Ex-Pussy Riot Members Say They Were ‘Shoved,’ ‘Surrounded’ in Sochi Arrest

Ex-Pussy Riot Members Say They Were 'Shoved,' 'Surrounded' in Sochi Arrest

Women tell ABC of their latest Russian arrest

Two former members of Pussy Riot told ABC News they were “surrounded,” and “shoved” during an arrest by Russian police near the Olympic village. They said they have endured daily harassment from police during the Winter Olympics.

“We are in Adler police station. We arrived here on Sunday to perform a song, ‘Putin Will Make You Love Your Motherland,’” Nadya Tolokonnikova told ABC News in a phone call. She said she and Masha Alekhina were taken into custody with a group of human rights activists.

Also read: Pussy Riot: Backing Olympics = Backing Putin

Tolokonnikova said they were also detained for nine hours a few days ago while authorities inspected their documents.

“Yesterday we spent hours at the [police station] and they openly told us that we are wanted. And today we were walking along the sea near the seaport building in Sochi and we were surrounded by police, and they arrested us, saying that something was stolen in our hotel. They used force, shoved us into the car and brought us into the police station, locked in a room surrounded by police,” Tolokonnikova said.

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Russian police did not respond to ABC News's calls for comment.

Tolokonnikova and Alekhina (pictured in December) were imprisoned on a charge of “hooliganism” after they sang an anti-Putin song in a cathedral in 2012. They were released in December, and said Putin had only let them outto try to improve Russia's image.

They began to focus intensely on prisoners’ rights, but other members of the group — a kind of punk collective — said they were parting with Tolokonnikova and Alekhina because they had stopped focusing on the group's other ideals, including feminism, separatist resistance, and fighting authoritarianism.

  • Ward P

    I can't help but wonder if the Russian police would be this forceful and discriminatory if this was a group comprised if men? The cops are the real hooligans obviously. #freepussyriot