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Pussy Riot Member Nadya Tolokonnikova Arrested For Protest in Moscow

She was dragged away after trying to sew "PRISON CAMP RUSSIA" onto a Russian flag in Bolotnaya Square.

by Allie Conti
Jun 12 2015, 4:21pm

Courtesy of Nadya Tolokonnikova

Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot was dragged away from Bolotnaya Square in Moscow today after staging a protest there. Another activist, Katya Nenasheva, was arrested as well. The pair have been released and are currently waiting for their arrest papers outside of jail, Tolokonnikova's husband, Peter Verzilov, told VICE.

Nenasheva, an artist, has been donning prison garb for the past 18 days to draw awareness to the lack of jobs and acceptance women face when they are released from Russian jails. Today, on a holiday called Russia Day that celebrates the country and its constitution, she and Pussy Riot's Tolokonnikova planned to sew a message onto a Russian flag in the square while wearing prison uniforms.

"We will sew the Russian flag on Bolotnaya Square, the square that became the starting point for many years in prison for dozens of activists who went out to protest Putin's regime in May 2012," Tolokonnikova said in a statement. "So here we are, on this square, and we will sew the sign "PRISON CAMP RUSSIA" to the face of the Russian flag on Russia Day."

In March 2012, Tolokonnikova was arrested for hooliganism after performing inside Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. The sentencing drew international outrage and was the subject of an HBO documentary called Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer. (Here at VICE, several staff members got tattoos to show solidarity.)

Not long after the protest started, a police van arrived at the square and took Tolokonnikova and Nenasheva into custody, along with their sewing machine, according to Mashable.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter.

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