Pussy Riot 'whipped and beaten' during Sochi action

AFP
Published Feb 20, 2014, 8:26 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 9:20 am IST
Band members attacked with horsewhips during an action hostile to Putin in Sochi.
A Cossack militiaman attacks Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and a photographer as she and fellow members of the punk group Pussy Riot, including Maria Alekhina, center, in the pink balaclava, stage a protest performance in Sochi, Russia, on Wednesday - AP
 A Cossack militiaman attacks Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and a photographer as she and fellow members of the punk group Pussy Riot, including Maria Alekhina, center, in the pink balaclava, stage a protest performance in Sochi, Russia, on Wednesday - AP

Sochi (Russia): The two best-known members of Pussy Riot on Thursday said they had been beaten and attacked with horsewhips during an action hostile to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Winter Olympics host city Sochi.

The scuffles came a day after the protest punk band's members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were detained by police in the Russian Black Sea resort for several hours yesterday in connection with a theft case.

 

The latest fracas over their stay in Sochi came as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) warned the girls that it would be 'wholly inappropriate' to stage actions outside the Olympic venues.

The clash took place as Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and one other Pussy Riot member sought to stage an action in the centre of Sochi, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of the main Olympic Park. They donned the coloured balaclavas and tights that are their group's trademark but were immediately surrounded by uniformed security personnel who appeared to be Cossacks.

 

The girls were whipped repeatedly with horsewhips and roughly handled, video footage showed.

At one point Tolokonnikova was thrown to the ground and her coat thrown on top of her.

Cossacks, clad in their national clothes, are often seen helping the police with their work in the south of Russia in line with a tradition dating back to Tsarist times.

Tolokonnikova herself wrote on her Twitter feed @tolokno that they had been attempting to stage a new performance entitled "Putin will teach you to love the motherland".

Alyokhina posted pictures on her Twitter feed of her chest showing severe bruising after the clashes. 

 

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