Pussy Riot Members Flee Russia
Two members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot have fled Russia to evade arrest, according to the Huffington Post. Three members of the band were found guilty of "hooliganism" and sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month. The maximum sentence for the charges was seven years.
The hooliganism conviction stems from an action by five members of the band who performed a "punk prayer" (video) on the altar of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in dissent of Vladimir Putin. The members entered the church wearing bright colors and balaclavas, singing "Mother of God, Blessed Virgin, drive out Putin!" They noted later that their intent was to challenge the Church's political support for Putin and to show their dissatisfaction with Putin's 12-year political dominance.
Following the three convictions in the case, police announced they were searching for the two members of the group who also participated in the performance but had not been identified due to the balaclavas the group wore.
Pussy Riot tweeted that the two members who have left the country are "recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new protest actions" and that twelve members of the group are still in Russia.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 8/26/12; USA Today 8/26/12; Twitter (@pussy_riot) 8/25/12; Feminist Newswire 8/17/12