Gay Issues

Pussy Riot Singers Attacked With Whips, Pepper Spray by Russian Security in Sochi (Video)

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While the Sochi Winter Olympics wind down, the controversy over Russia's human rights violations is heating up.

Six members of Pussy Riot, five women and one man, tried to film a performance of their new protest song, "Putin Will Teach You How To Love Your Motherland," in downtown Sochi (20 miles from the Olympics) today.

Shortly after donning their brightly-colored masks, Pussy Riot members were attacked by Cossacks with pepper spray and whips, notes the Associated Press (video below).

The Cossacks are a regional militia, dating back to the Czar era, when they attacked Jewish people, who were hired to provide security for the Olympics.

The New York Times notes that Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were recently hauled into a local police station on bogus theft charges but later released.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina served nearly two years in a Russian prison for protesting on behalf of gay rights. They were released in December 2013.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that police arrived after the beating, but none of the band members were arrested.

Tolokonnikova later tweeted, “Cossacks attacked us, beat us with whips and abundantly sprayed us with pepper gas."

Sources: The New York Times, Associated Press, The Sydney Morning Herald

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