Pussy Riot member arrested in Russia and accused of organising riots

The activist and artist was seized at his home.

Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov has been arrested in Russia and charged with petty hooliganism, after his sudden disappearance sparked speculation he had been abducted.

According to the Associated Press, the activist and artist was seized at his home by unidentified men who broke down his door with a sledgehammer on Sunday morning (June 21).

According to a statement by Pussy Riot he was then interrogated for 13 hours under suspicion of organising riots in July of 2019

Advertisement

Verzilov is a prominent member of the collective, and rose to fame during the 2012 trial of three members of Pussy Riot for launching a protest in a Moscow cathedral.

Local media in Russia reported that Verzilov had been detained yesterday in Russia and was being interrogated by anti-extremism police at a station in Moscow.

Peter Verzilov
Pyotr Verzilov

Verzilov claimed he was questioned about Moscow protests that ended in clashes between protesters and police in 2019. However, Verzilov was reportedly in Estonia during the protest.

He told MediaZona: “There were a lot of questions about [the opposition leader Alexei] Navalny and my trips abroad.”

Not long after being released yesterday, Verzilov was seized near the police station and detained again by police, who held him overnight this time.

Advertisement

He is said to be facing hooliganism charges that carry a maximum sentence of 15 days.
However, peers of Verzilov speculated he may have been detained for his online posts or plans for future protests. Verzilov denied those plans on Monday.

Meanwhile, The BBC has reported that Verzilov may have been detained to halt any plans to stand in front of a tank during rehearsals for an upcoming Russian military parade. Verzilov said he had no plans to launch such a protest.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement