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Pussy Riot activists arrested in Moscow for hanging rainbow flags on government buildings to mark Putin’s birthday

Source: Meduza

Police officers arrested Pussy Riot activist Maria Alyokhina near the Dozhd television office in Moscow on Thursday, October 8. Earlier in the day, another Pussy Riot member, Veronika Nikulshina, was arrested in Moscow’s Tanganka neighborhood. 

Maria Alyokhina’s arrest
Veronika (Nika) Nikulshina’s arrest
Update: TV Rain released a video showing the police officers chasing Maria Alyokhina up to the office’s second floor and forcibly removing her from the building. Lawyers from OVD-Info have gone to assist both Alyokhina and Nikulshina.

The arrests appear to be in connection with a protest action Pussy Riot activists carried out on Wednesday, October 7. Calling for support for LGBTQ rights, the activists hung rainbow flags on various government buildings around Moscow, including the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters, the Presidential Executive Office, the Supreme Court, the Culture Ministry, and the Basmanny District police headquarters. 

During the action, the activists presented a list of demands, which included the legalization of same-sex partnerships, as well as an investigation into the abductions and killings of LGBTQ people in Russia’s Chechnya. The protest was timed to coincide with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 68th birthday.

Pussy Riot

Radio Svaboda journalist Artyom Radygin was arrested while covering the action near the FSB headquarters on Lubyanka Square. He was released a few hours later after receiving an administrative protocol for taking part in an unauthorized public event. However, his cell phone was seized and not returned.

Pussy Riot members also told Meduza yesterday that Sota correspondent Denis Styazhkin had been arrested during the action near the Presidential Executive Office. 

Update. Denis Styazhkin later claimed that he was arrested while covering a “Left Bloc” rally, not the Pussy Riot protest.

That same evening, law enforcement officers arrested Pussy Riot activists Vasily Andrianov and Elizaveta Diderikh. They were released later under obligation to appear to receive administrative protocols for participating in an unauthorized rally. Last night, police officers also visited the homes of other activists who took part in the protests, including Alexander Sofeev, Veronika Nikulshina, and Lyusa Shtein.

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