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'To all Russian political prisoners': Pussy Riot release new video amid crackdown on pro-Navalny protests

Group faced prison sentence after filming a “punk prayer” against President Putin in 2012 at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Pussy Riot, the feminist punk collective, announced in a video trailer that it will release a new video today dedicated “to all Russian political prisoners.”

One of its leading members, Masha Alekhina, was sentenced to two months house arrest for “violating sanitary-epidemiological norms” that could spread Covid-19 at protests on 23 January in support of the jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. Navalny’s film about a luxurious palace allegedly built for President Vladimir Putin has been viewed over 100 million times since it was released on YouTube on 19 January.

State media have also accused Alekhina and another Pussy Riot activist, Lucy Shteyn, of ramming a police car.

In a statement accompanying the YouTube trailer, Pussy Riot said “13 artists and activists were detained as a result of us filming this video, we were accused of 'gay propaganda', but we've made it anyway” and demanded “Free Navalny, Free Masha Alekhina, Free All Political Prisoners.”

The trailer shows Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova being accused by a policeman of “filming an illegal video” that “promotes homosexualism among minors.” Tolokonnikova spent nearly two years in prison after the group filmed a “punk prayer” against Putin in 2012 at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

On 30 January, police raided the St Petersburg apartment of Darya Apakhonchich, another feminist activist artist, who is the first artist to be labelled a “foreign agent” according to a repressive law. She wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday that all of her computers, thumb drives and phones had been seized in an investigation into the 23 January protests. “They turned everything in the apartment inside out,” Apakhonchich wrote.