Masked members of Pussy Riot leave a police station in Adler during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 18, 2014.
Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Detained Pussy Riot members released in Sochi

Updated

Two members of the activist punk band Pussy Riot were detained in Sochi, Russia on Tuesday, according to a local human rights activist.

NBC News’ Richard Engel reported that the pair were released and came out singing in their trademark, brightly colored ski-masks just after 5:30 p.m. in Sochi.

Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova—the pair of band members who were recently released from prison and spoke in New York—were reportedly stopped and accused of theft. Tolokonnikova wrote on Twitter that she and Maria Alekhina were stopped and accused of a crime. A handful of other activists were also detained, activist (and fellow detainee) Semyon Simonov told NBC News.

The Russian police released a statement to Interfax indicating that the pair were being questioned—along with all the other members of the hotel they’re staying at—in regard to a theft that occured at the hotel.

Roughly forty people were detained, including the Pussy Riot members.

The band members were held at a police station in Adler, the town where Olympic Park is. The pair were released from prison in December along with a handful of other political prisoners in December; many saw the move as an attempt to garner favor with the international community ahead of the Winter Olympics. International scrutiny on Russia had been amplified by the nation’s intolerant laws against gay people. 

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Detained Pussy Riot members released in Sochi

Updated