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Russia: Pussy Riot members among 18 people arrested after protest

December 31, 2014
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Eighteen protesters, including members of Pussy Riot, have been detained in Moscow.

Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina said on Twitter that she and other protesters were detained by police early on Wednesday after congregating in Red Square.

A few thousand people rallied outside Red Square on Tuesday in the boldest anti-government demonstration in years to protest against the court conviction of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his brother.

Police allowed the protesters to stay for about two hours before dispersing the crowd.

Mr Navalny is a fierce critic of President Putin. He has called for LGBT pride events to be allowed in Moscow and has the support of Pussy Riot.

The US State Department said the sentencing was “a disturbing development designed to punish and deter political activism.”

Pussy Riot called for a boycott of the Sochi Winter Olympics last year in protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws.

Two members of the group were arrested during the Games in February.

In August 2012, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were jailed for two years for staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest, with a song that mentioned the country’s persecuted LGBT citizens in a Moscow cathedral.

Their imprisonment sparked widespread international condemnation.

Related topics: anti-gay laws, Europe, Moscow, Pussy Riot, putin, Russia, Russia, sochi olympics, Sochi Winter Olympics, Sochi Winter Olympics 2014, St Petersburg, Vladimir Putin, Winter Olympics, Winter Olympics 2014

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