Two members of Pussy Riot detained in Russia for Oleg Sentsov protest

Feminist punk group members Olga Borisova and Maria Alyokhina were held for several hours after protesting against the imprisonment of Ukrainian film-maker Sentsov

Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, known for their vociferous protests against the Russian establishment, were briefly detained on Monday by police in Yakutsk in eastern Siberia.

Maria Alyokhina and Olga Borisova were arrested following a protest they made against the imprisonment of film-maker Oleg Sentsov the pair unfurled a Free Sentsov banner on a road bridge, along with plumes of coloured smoke. They were held in a police station, then faced a court hearing for holding an unauthorised protest.

Borisova later wrote on Facebook that the pair were released after the judge found errors in the case files.

Pussy Riot, who are a loose collective of musicians and artists, have previously been imprisoned for their performances. In 2012, Alyokhina, along with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich, was sentenced to two years in jail for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, following a Pussy Riot performance in a cathedral. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova each served 21 months.

Their protest against Sentsovs imprisonment adds their voices to numerous others campaigning for his release, including film-makers Pedro Almodvar, Ken Loach, Bla Tarr and Wim Wenders. After voicing opposition to Russias annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian film-maker Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Yakutsk, after being convicted for terrorist acts. Amnesty International has called his trial redolent of Stalinist-era show trials, while there were numerous accusations of the torture of defendants and witnesses.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/aug/08/pussy-riot-oleg-sentsov-protest-yakutsk