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Ex-Pussy Riot star Alekhina ‘arrested for defending political prisoners’ in Moscow - reports

Ex-Pussy Riot star Alekhina ‘arrested for defending political prisoners’ in Moscow - reports
Maria Alekhina, a Russian political activist best known for her role in ‘punk band’ Pussy Riot, for which she served a prison term, says she has been arrested by Moscow police.

Alekhina was taken to a precinct on Wednesday, she told Mediazona, an outlet founded by fellow Pussy Riot organizer Petr Verzilov, and TV channel Dozhd. She said the police want to question her over a protest event she participated in mid-November.

The protest involved hanging a banner showing photos of ten people, who Alekhina and other activists call political prisoners, from a bridge in front of the Kremlin. Another organizer, controversial self-proclaimed Christian Orthodox libertarian activist Dmitry Tsorinov, who goes by his nom-de-guerre Enteo, was sentenced to a five-day detention after the event.

Police would not immediately confirm or deny Alekhina’s detention.

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Alekhina was one of three members of a mask-wearing band who got into legal trouble in Russia after a rogue act at one of Moscow’s cathedrals, which was performed for an anti-government music video. Some of the churchgoers were offended by their invasion of the sacred place.

The identified members were tried for hooliganism and jailed. The trial and its outcome became a major story for critics of the Russian government, who framed it as a case of political persecution against brave female singers. Once freed, Pussy Riot were embraced by Western celebrities and politicians like Madonna and Hillary Clinton and even starred in one of the episodes of the TV Series House of Cards. Their international fame was, however, short-lived.

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