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Pussy Riot members detained in Switzerland over anti-war drawing

Maria Alyokhina, Lyusya Shtein and Taso Pletner, members of the band Pussy Riot, were arrested in Bern, Switzerland, while spraying anti-war graffiti on a local pavement, the group's producer Alexander Cheparukhin told Mediazona.

Photo: Pussy Riot’s unfinished graffiti

“They were taken away in handcuffs. The policeman said they could be expelled from Switzerland. I have pictures [of the incident], but Olya [Borisova — another band member] and I had our passports photographed. We were warned that if I publish these pictures in social networks, I will be held responsible — you’re not allowed to take pictures of police officers here,” Cheparukhin explained.

The band members were released a few hours after the arrest, with Swiss police driving them to their hotel.

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The story of Aysoltan Niyazova, a citizen of Turkmenistan and a member of Pussy Riot, persecuted for the past 20 years over a crime she did not commit

Last week, the Russian embassy in Switzerland claimed that Pussy Riot’s performances in Switzerland constituted a violation of the country’s criminal code.

“The Swiss journalists who rushed to cover these so-called performances, and the local authorities should be aware that one of the members of the 'group' escaped from a court-ordered house arrest in Moscow, and now travels around Europe giving interviews with sweeping criticism of the Russian leadership,” the embassy said in a statement.

The embassy claims that the group’s performances feature “indecent acts that insult Russia and its leadership.”

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