26 Feb 2018 17:21

Another Pussy Riot member detained in Crimea - rights activists

MOSCOW. Feb 26 (Interfax) - The police have detained Olga Borisova, a member of the group Pussy Riot, in Crimea, Polina Nemirovskaya, the human rights manager of the movement Open Russia, said.

"Olya [Borisova] and Alexander Sofeyev, their friend, a photographer, came to Simferopol from Kerch this morning. They went to look for a place to eat and detained by police, who took them to a clinic for a medical evaluation. After they were examined, they were taken to the Zheleznodorozhnoye police station," Nemirovskaya said.

The detainees have been in the police station for almost four hours now, and the police have taken Borisova's mobile phone and Sofeyev's camera and laptop computer, she said.

"They are writing explanations of why they came to Crimea. Emil Kurbedinov, the lawyer of the movement Open Russia, has just been allowed into the Zheleznodorozhnoye police station," Nemirovskaya said.

Borisova and Sofeyev had also been detained upon their arrival in Kerch, but they were released after a conversation, she said.

Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina was also detained upon arriving in Simferopol by plane on Monday morning. "They held her for four hours. They also took her to a clinic, but she has already been released," Nemirovskaya said.

Interfax has not received official confirmation of this information.

In August 2012, Alyokhina and another Pussy Riot member, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for hooliganism over the so-called punk prayer carried out by five Pussy Riot members in balaclavas in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow in late February 2012.

The young women walked free in December 2012 under an amnesty declared by the State Duma in connection with the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution.

Since then, members of the group have conducted several events in Russia. On August 6, 2017, Pussy Riot members Alyokhina and Borisova conducted an event in Yakutsk near Penal Colony 1, where Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov is serving his term. The young women unfolded a poster saying "Free Sentsov." The next day, they were detained by police and taken to the Yakutsk City Court. However, the judge returned the case materials to the police so that flaws could be fixed, and the women were freed in the courtroom.