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4 Pussy Riot Members Jailed in Moscow

Pussy Riot member and Moscow municipal deputy Lucy Shtein. Basmanny Court Press Service

At least four members of the activist group Pussy Riot have been jailed in Moscow less than a week after a fellow member was jailed on suspicion of planning to disrupt the ongoing Euro 2020 football championship, media reported Tuesday.

The detentions began in the early hours of Tuesday with Alexander Sofeyev and his photographer friend, according to the police-monitoring website OVD-Info. Both were charged with drinking in public over a bottle of wine allegedly found in Sofeyev’s backpack.

Later at noon, police detained Pussy Riot member and municipal deputy Lucy Shtein, who was followed by Anna Kuzminykh and, hours later, founding member Maria Alyokhina. Both Shtein and Alyokhina are already under house arrest over street rallies in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Police also reportedly detained Olga Shalina, a member of the “Other Russia” anti-Putin coalition.

Alyokhina, Kuzminykh, Sofeyev and Shalina were reportedly kept in custody overnight at different police stations across Moscow.

Moscow's Basmanny District Court sentenced Sofeyev to 15 days of administrative arrest on charges of petty hooliganism, Interfax cited his lawyer as saying.

Kuzminykh has been sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest on charges of disobeying police orders, her lawyer told the independent MBKh Media news website.

Shtein and Alyokhina were also charged with disobeying police orders and jailed 15 days each. 

A Moscow court found Pussy Riot member Veronika Nikulshina guilty on the same charges last Thursday and ruled to jail them for 15 days.

Police accused Nikulshina of planning to disrupt the UEFA Euro 2020 championship in St. Petersburg three years after she and three fellow activists ran onto the pitch during the 2018 FIFA World Cup final in Moscow.

Feminist punk collective Pussy Riot formed in 2011 and quickly earned a reputation for eyebrow-raising guerrilla performances.

Three of its founding members were imprisoned for two years in 2012 for a protest performance in a central Moscow cathedral that criticized President Vladimir Putin’s ties to the Russian Orthodox Church.

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