Pussy Riot band members detained with 100 people at Moscow protest

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina continue joining protests in opposition to the Russian government.

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Copyright 2014 Reuters
Copyright 2014 Reuters
Tolokonnikova (pictured), Alyokhina and opposition figure Alexei Navalny were among about 100 protesters detained outside of a Moscow courthouse on Feb. 24. The protesters were demonstrating against the conviction and sentencing of eight people who the court says attacked police during a 2012 protest. Source: twitter.com

Tolokonnikova (pictured), Alyokhina and opposition figure Alexei Navalny were among about 100 protesters detained outside of a Moscow courthouse on Feb. 24. The protesters were demonstrating against the conviction and sentencing of eight people who the court says attacked police during a 2012 protest.

Three members of Pussy Riot -- Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich -- were sentenced to two years in prison in Aug. 2012 for performing a protest song at Moscow's main Orthodox cathedral. Samutsevich was freed on a suspended sentence in Oct. 2012. The other two were freed in Dec. 2013. Copyright 2014 Reuters

Three members of Pussy Riot -- Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich -- were sentenced to two years in prison in Aug. 2012 for performing a protest song at Moscow's main Orthodox cathedral. Samutsevich was freed on a suspended sentence in Oct. 2012. The other two were freed in Dec. 2013.

"We have been arrested… and are accused of robbery… At the time of our detention, we weren't engaged in any protests, we were walking around Sochi." Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Twitter account

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina said they had been detained in Sochi, Russia along with a group of activists and journalists. Police have not yet confirmed the arrests and if they were related to calls for a boycott of the Olympic Games. The women said they were accused of stealing from their hotel room.

Those detained had access to their mobile phones and were updating their Twitter feeds. <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/two-members-of-pussy-riot-punk-band-arrested-in-sochi-activist/article16929610/#dashboard/follows/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tolokonnikova told the Globe and Mail</a> that she and Alyokhina were in Sochi to perform a song for the Olympics, "Putin Will Teach You To Love Your Motherland" and that police told them they were on a wanted list. Source: twitter.com

Those detained had access to their mobile phones and were updating their Twitter feeds. Tolokonnikova told the Globe and Mail that she and Alyokhina were in Sochi to perform a song for the Olympics, "Putin Will Teach You To Love Your Motherland" and that police told them they were on a wanted list.

Soon after her release on Dec. 23, 2013, Tolokonnikova called on nations to boycott the Olympics in Russia. Another bandmate, Yekaterina Samutsevich, who had been released before Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, also called for a boycott in Nov. 2013. Copyright 2014 Reuters

Soon after her release on Dec. 23, 2013, Tolokonnikova called on nations to boycott the Olympics in Russia. Another bandmate, Yekaterina Samutsevich, who had been released before Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, also called for a boycott in Nov. 2013.

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, and Maria Alyokhina, 25, said in a news conference Dec. 27 that they will still push for an end to Vladimir Putin's presidency. They said they were released from jail only because Putin wanted to improve his image before the Winter Olympics in Russia. Copyright 2014 Reuters

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, and Maria Alyokhina, 25, said in a news conference Dec. 27 that they will still push for an end to Vladimir Putin's presidency. They said they were released from jail only because Putin wanted to improve his image before the Winter Olympics in Russia.

"As for Vladimir Putin, we still feel the same about him. We still want to do what we said in our last performance for which we spent two years in prison: drive him away." Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Tolokonnikova was referring to a Pussy Riot song in which the band sings, "Mother of God, drive Putin away." During the two-hour news conference in Moscow Dec. 27, they also said they planned to form a human rights group focused on the protection of prisoners.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were freed under an amnesty bill passed Dec. 18 by the Russian parliament, meant to protect minors, the physically disabled, veterans, pregnant women, and women with children. Both women have young children.

"I feel sorry for Pussy Riot not for the fact that they were jailed, but for disgraceful behavior that has degraded the image of women." Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

Putin confirmed that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina would be released in his annual televised press conference.

Tolokonnikova's husband, Petya Verzilov, said she was moved from Mordovia to cut her off from the outside world after she staged two high-profile hunger strikes at the prison about 275 miles east of Moscow. Her incarceration also drew frequent protests. A nine-day hunger strike came to an end Oct. 1, two days after Tolokonnikova was moved to a hospital. CC BY-ND WikiCommons

Tolokonnikova's husband, Petya Verzilov, said she was moved from Mordovia to cut her off from the outside world after she staged two high-profile hunger strikes at the prison about 275 miles east of Moscow. Her incarceration also drew frequent protests. A nine-day hunger strike came to an end Oct. 1, two days after Tolokonnikova was moved to a hospital.

Madonna introduced two former members of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, at a benefit concert for Amnesty International on Feb. 5 in Brooklyn. Madonna said she was on tour in Moscow when they were put on trial, adding she was threatened with arrest for performances promoting "gay behavior." Copyright 2014 Reuters

Madonna introduced two former members of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, at a benefit concert for Amnesty International on Feb. 5 in Brooklyn. Madonna said she was on tour in Moscow when they were put on trial, adding she was threatened with arrest for performances promoting "gay behavior."

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