Moscow police have detained two more members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot as part of a criminal probe launched after the group stormed the altar of Moscow’s largest cathedral and performed a protest song, a police spokesperson said on Sunday.
Last week, five women from the band, clad in bright balaclavas, performed an acapella version of what they said was a “punk prayer” entitled “Holy Sh*t.” The lyrics included lines such as “Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin, chase Putin out!”
The punk protest at the Christ the Savior Cathedral came less than a week before Sunday's presidential elections, in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is seeking the Kremlin post for a third term.
The activists escaped after the performance. However, police opened a criminal case against them, saying they had “shouted insults at believers and churchmen at the Christ the Savior Cathedral.”
As part of the probe, three women and a man were detained on Saturday and another two women were detained on Sunday. They may face up to seven years in prison on charges of hooliganism.
“They are suspected of...gross violation of public order and religious hatred,” police said.
Pussy Riot first hit the headlines in January, when they raced through a musical protest against Putin on Red Square, calling for “Revolt in Russia!” and chanting “Putin’s scared” before being detained by police.