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Punk rock group Pussy Riot hangs LGBT flags on Moscow buildings

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Pussy Riot LGBT flags

Punk rock group Pussy Riot hangs LGBT flags on Moscow buildings

Russian activists and punk rock group Pussy Riot marked known anti-LGBT President Vladimir Putin’s 68th birthday by hanging LGBT flags from five government buildings in Moscow.

Some of the members were later arrested by Russian police even as two journalists were detained when the flags were being hung on the buildings.

Pussy Riot takes on Putin

The group posted photos of its members installing LGBT flags on the buildings of the Federal Security Service, the district police, the Supreme Court, the Administration of the President, and the Culture Ministry.

The group said they hung rainbow flags on the facades of “the most important symbols of Russian statehood.”

They also posted a set of demands, like the legalization of same-sex “partnerships,” an end to discrimination against LGBT in Russia, and investigations into reported kidnappings and killings of LGBT members in Chechnya.

Likewise, they called for the repeal of the controversial law that banned any homosexual material as “propaganda” against minors.

The group said on their Facebook page: “We give this rainbow to everyone as a symbol of the missing love and freedom.”

Group members arrested after protest

Following the posting of the pictures, the group later posted multiple tweets reporting that four of their members were arrested, including Sasha Sofeev, Maria Alyokhina, and Veronica Nikulshina.

The group posted on their Twitter: “Pussy Riot’s Sasha Sofeev is detained now. “The police has broken into his home, now he’s in the police station, facing potentially 30 days of arrest.”

They also reported that “4 other activists who participated in the rainbow flag action were detained earlier too, but they were let go before the trial.”

They further posted a video that showed Alyokhina being arrested by police before a scheduled interview she had with the independent station TV Rain.

The station confirmed the news on their Twitter account that, “Police officers followed Maria Alyokhina to the second floor and detained her at the door of the editorial office.”

Who are the Pussy Riot group?

Pussy Riot is better known as a feminist collective that sprang up from the protest movement in Moscow in 2011 as part of a street-level challenge against Putin through a mix of punk rock and performance art.

In 2012, after Putin’s re-election, they became symbols of the anti-Putin movement after three of their members were tried for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility.”

International human rights groups sided with the group, especially after two of the members– Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova– were sentenced to gulags.

After the two were released from prison in 2014, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova performed with Madonna at an Amnesty International awareness concert in Brooklyn.

Likewise, four of the members took to the pitch of the 2018 World Cup Final between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to protest human rights abuses in Russia.

The group was later named as part of the 100 Women of the Year by Time Magazine in March this year.

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