Pussy Riot pitch invaders jailed for 15 days for human rights protest

July 17 – Four members of the Russian punk activist group Pussy Riot have been jailed for 15 days for disrupting the World Cup final by running on to the pitch.

They were accused of violating the rules for spectators at sporting events and wearing police uniforms illegally. They were also banned from attending sports events for three years.

The final between France and Croatia was briefly suspended at the Luzhniki Stadium when the protesters, three women and a man wearing police-style black trousers and white shirts, surged on to the pitch chased by stewards.

With Russian president Vladimir Putin in attendance, referee Nestor Pitana called a halt to play while they were removed.

This is not the first time that Pussy Riot, who said they were protesting against human rights abuses in Russia, have staged high-profile demonstrations against Putin. Three members were jailed in 2012 for performing an anti-Putin punk song in a Moscow cathedral.

A statement from Pussy Riot said the aims of Sunday’s protest included calling on the Russian authorities to free all political prisoners, stop illegal arrests at public rallies, allow political competition in the country and stop fabricating criminal cases and jailing people on remand for no reason.

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