Pussy Riot member arrested at Moscow women's rights demo

2015-06-15 12:38
 


Moscow - A member of punk protest group Pussy Riot and a fellow activist were arrested on Friday at a demonstration in Moscow demanding better conditions for women held in Russian prisons.

"I'm in the police van," Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova told opposition radio station Echo of Moscow. "I haven't been told which police station we're headed to. There's another person with me."

Tolokonnikova also posted photos on her Facebook page showing her in the police van and at the police station.

These pics were posted on Pussy Riot's Facebook page:

The two activists were arrested for holding a "non-authorised protest" in which they planned to sew a Russian flag while wearing prison uniforms.

The protest was held at central Moscow's Bolotnaya Square, the scene of clashes between police and protesters in 2012 on the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration for a third presidential term.

Tolokonnikova and fellow Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina received two-year prison sentences for holding an anti-Putin punk protest in a Moscow church in 2012, after being found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. They were released in late 2013.

Tolokonnikova spent most of her jail time in a women's penal colony in central Russia and has described the conditions she faced there as close to "slavery". She went on hunger strike several times to protest alleged prison abuses.

The punk rocker said she wanted to use Friday's protest to draw attention to the conditions women face in Russian prisons. Friday was Russia Day, a public holiday marking Russian independence from the Soviet Union.

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