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      Pussy Riot Members Attacked With Paint and Trash at McDonald's

      Pussy Riot Members Attacked With Paint and Trash at McDonald's Pussy Riot Members Attacked With Paint and Trash at McDonald's Pussy Riot Members Attacked With Paint and Trash at McDonald's
      Photo via Masha Alyokhina

      Pussy Riot

      Pussy Riot Members Attacked With Paint and Trash at McDonald's

      By Alice Speri

      Two well-known members of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot were attacked on Thursday while eating breakfast at a McDonald’s in the city of Nizhny Novgorod.

      A group of several unidentified men hurled trash and green paint at Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina, while yelling obscenities at them and holding signs calling them "whores."

      The video below, uploaded to YouTube by the activists themselves, shows the incident, as well as a message from the two women as they detail what happened.

      Video uploaded to YouTube shows Thursday’s attack on two Pussy Riot members.

      Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina spent nearly two years in prison for performing an anti-Putin “punk prayer” in Moscow’s orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior. They were released last December as part of an amnesty granted by Putin to political prisoners ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics. At that time, the women only had two months left to serve on their two-year sentences.

      Since then they have become household names around the world, and have been celebrated in the west as “heroes.” Yet in Russia’s more conservative provinces they are often called “whores.” A sign held by one of the attackers in the video read: “Dirty whores out of our town.”

      Earlier this year, Simon Ostrovsky of VICE News followed Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova to a prison colony in Nizhny Novgorod where Alyokhina was detained towards the end of her incarceration.

      Watch the VICE News documentary “Pussy Riot Goes Back To Jail.”

      The women said in Thursday’s video that they were there to visit the jail once again, as part of a campaign to protect Russian prisoners’ rights they have been involved in since their release. They were at the fast food joint with other members of the new prisoners’ rights group which is called “Zone of the Rights.”

      “Russia is notorious for its prison labor camps, and has one of the highest proportions of citizens locked up behind bars,” Ostrovsky said in his documentary. “In Russia, being accused is almost the same as being guilty.”

      Sergei Nikitin, the director of Amnesty International’s Moscow office, called for an independent investigation of Thursday’s incident and the prosecution of those responsible.

      “By all accounts, this violent attack appears to have been premeditated by an organized group,” Nikitin said in a statement. “The Russian authorities must not tolerate such attacks on peaceful activists.”

      After the attack, Tolokonnikova tweeted photos of medical records showing she received treatment for eye injuries.

      The women have been detained and attacked several times in the last few weeks, including an incident in which they got whipped by Cossacks in Sochi.

      Watch the VICE News documentary “Pussy Riot Gets Whipped in Sochi.”

      Topics: putin, russia, activism, pussy riot, nizhny novgorod, mcdonald's

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