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Report: Friend Of Detained Pussy Riot Member Also Taken Into Custody In Moscow


Veronika Nikulshina was detained in Moscow on May 8.

MOSCOW -- A member of the Russian feminist protest group Pussy Riot says a close friend of a detained group member has been taken to custody by Russia police without explanation along with her boyfriend.

Pyotr Verzilov said in a Twitter post that police in Moscow detained Aleksandra Albova and her boyfriend on May 9. The post did not name Albova's boyfriend.

Their detentions come a day after Pussy Riot member Veronika Nikulshina was detained in Moscow together with four other friends of hers who reportedly are not members of the protest group.

Police explained those detentions by saying it was necessary to question them about damage to an unspecified state property. All five remained in custody on May 9.

"Sasha [Albova] has never had anything to do with [Pussy Riot's] actions, politics, or the theater," Verzilov wrote on May 9. "She is just a close friend of Nika [Veronika Nikulshina]."

A court in Sweden on April 30 granted political asylum to two other members of Pussy Riot, Lusine Djanyan and Aleksei Knedlyakovsky, and their two children.

In the ruling, the Swedish court accepted the claim of Djanyan and Knedlyakovsky that they face "harassment and death threats" in Russia.

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