Pussy Riot crew member briefly detained in Slovenia

Ljubljana – Slovenian police briefly detained a Turkmenistan activist travelling with the Russian feminist protest punk rock band Pussy Riot ahead of the group’s concert in Ljubljana on Thursday before releasing her.

Addressing a press conference ahead of the concert, Pussy Riot lead singer Maria Alyokhina said her friend had been apprehended in the morning based on a 20-year-old Interpol arrest warrant.

Alyokhina, who had recently managed to escape Russia disguised as a food courier, had become friends with the Turkmen activist while serving prison sentence in Russia.

Alexander Cheparukhin, the arts collective’s agent and music producer, said the Turkmen activist had been falsely accused of contentious transactions and collaboration with the opposition.

Dino Bauk, a Slovenian lawyer who has jumped in to help them, told Cheparukhin the Slovenian authorities were not planning to deport the activist or extradite her to the authorities in Turkmenistan but were looking into the case, which was to take a few days.

The producer described the activist’s arrest as inhumane.

Alyokhina said the police arrived at their hotel early in the morning and the band were shocked that neither the police officers nor court clerks would tell them anything.

She said her friend had a Schengen visa and had never come across an obstacle while travelling with the band through Europe.

Pussy Riot will perform at the Lesbian Quarter festival tonight.

After their press conference the organizers of the festival, ŠKUC announced that the activist had in the meantime been released.

The Ljubljana District Court confirmed that the activist had been brought before an investigating judge based on an international arrest warrant issued by Turkmenistan over alleged unlawful appropriation or embezzlement of state assets. She was released after the hearing.