NEWS: Two Members of Pussy Riot Who Went Missing in Russia Found Safe

NEWS: Two Members of Pussy Riot Who Went Missing in Russia Found Safe

Members of “Pussy Riot” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (R), Maria Alyokhina (L) and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit in a glass-walled cage after being sentenced in Moscow.

Update: Olya Borisova and Sasha Sofeev have been found and are “safe now” after being detained “several times,” according to the band’s Twitter feed.

Two members of Pussy Riot, the all-female Russian punk rock band from Moscow known for their provocative protest lyrics and colorful balaclavas, disappeared on Tuesday while traveling from the Crimean peninsula to Moscow.

Olga Borisova and Sasha Sofeyev were meant to fly from Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula to Moscow Monday evening, according to local media reports. Instead, they disappeared without a trace.

Their friends and fellow band members said they have been unable to reach them.

The women were allegedly in Crimea to protest the detention of filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is serving a 20-year sentence on terrorism charges that many say are politically motivated. Sentsov is originally from Crimea and was arrested there in 2014.

The women decided to leave Crimea on Monday evening because they had been detained and harassed by security forces. The punk group’s Twitter account claimed that the members’ phones and computers had been broken. Masha Alekhina, a third member of Pussy Riot, is believed to be in police custody. However, she posted a picture of herself on Facebook on Tuesday holding up a sign that says “Free Sentsov.”

“After a few arrests, stakeouts, Cossacks, on the way to the police station,” the caption reads.

According to Radio Free Europe, Borisova and Sofeyev were originally detained when they arrived in Crimea on Sunday. Alekhina was reportedly apprehended after her arrival in Crimea on Monday. Borisova and Sofeyev were allegedly released and on their way back to Moscow when they disappeared en route to the airport.

Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, but the international community still considers it to be a part of Ukraine. Officials in Crimea have not commented on the detentions.

The group’s members have been detained and imprisoned on numerous occasions. In August, Alekhina and Borisova were arrested for protesting the imprisonment of Sentsov in the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk, where the filmmaker is currently imprisoned.

In 2012, Alekhina was sentenced along with two other members to two years in prison for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” after Pussy Riot performed illegally in a cathedral in Moscow.

The women frequently campaign for human rights and the rights of prisoners in Russia.

By Cristina Maza
(Posted from Newsweek)

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/two-members-pussy-riot-have-gone-missing-russia

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