Pussy Riot has joined the campaign for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws.

The female punk group, three of whom were sentenced to imprisonment following their infamous protest in a Moscow cathedral last year, believe that a boycott is the only way to take a stand against the repressive laws of Vladimir Putin’s government, given that demonstrations have been banned during the weeks surrounding the event.

Pussy Riot member Ekaterina Samutsevich, who was imprisoned and released on probation in October 2012, told The Independent: “I support the boycott because I do not think at this stage there is any other way to make our authorities see and understand because they keep ignoring the rights of their citizens, and at this stage there is no other way to affect change, because the authorities have taken hostage of the media, so perhaps this boycott can be a symbol of criticism being voiced.”

She added that the Olympics could have been “a source of national pride”, but that “what is happening now, and there is no other way to describe it, is right-wing fascism. This is what the Olympics are turning into and even sports people are being pressured into adopting these views.”

British actors Stephen Fry and Rupert Everett as well as a number of athletes have already expressed their support for the boycotting campaign, but so far no country has supported the move.

Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law has been heavily criticised worldwide since in came into place in June, making it illegal to distribute information about ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ to children under the age of 18. It is seen by many to legitimise repression of the country’s LGBT community.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak wrote to the International Olympic committee claiming that discrimination of any kind would not be allowed during the games, but many individuals think that a boycott is still necessary.