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Pussy Riot Members Jailed, Charged for Storming Field During World Cup Final in Russia (Video)

Punk rock group claims officials will not let their lawyer see or speak to those arrested

Four members from the punk rock band Pussy Riot were jailed Sunday and charged with crimes after storming the field during the World Cup Final match between France and Croatia.

Nika Nikulshina, Olga Kurachyova, Olga Pakhtusova and Pyotr Verzilov are accused of violating spectator rules and illegally wearing police uniforms, per the BBC. The misdemeanor offenses carry pretty low fines — maybe $200 combined — but their night in jail didn’t sound too homey, per the group’s official Twitter account:

Get comfortable, ladies (and one gentleman: Verzilov) — the offenses carry a maximum of 15 days detention, per the band.

Pussy Riot said the whole thing was a public protest again human rights abuses in Russia, where the World Cup was held this summer. It was also apparently a tribute to the late Russian poet Dmitriy Prigov, who pictured his country adopting a “heavenly policeman” as a much kinder alternative to the earthly ones.

Watch the protest unfold via the video at the top of this post, which also includes some more (subtitled) explanation for the group’s disruption to the championship game, which France ultimately won 4-2.

Want more video? Below is apparently footage from the (earthly) police interrogation that followed.

Pussy Riot’s protest came with a list of demands:

  1. Let all political prisoners free.
  2. Not imprison for “likes.”
  3. Stop illegal arrests on rallies.
  4. Allow political competition in the country.
  5. Not fabricate criminal accusations and not keep people in jails for no reason.
  6. Turn the earthly policeman into the heavenly policeman.

Read more about that last one below, where Pussy Riot lays out the performance it called “Policeman enters the Game”:

Pussy Riot said that Russian officials won’t give them information on where and when the court hearing will be held, which they believe is to prevent human rights activists from attending. The group also claimed that Russian police won’t let their lawyer see or speak to the jailed members.

The punk rock band has staged high-profile protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin before. Three members were jailed in 2012 for performing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow cathedral. One of them was Verzilov’s wife.