Pussy Riot Members Given Brief Jail Sentences for World Cup ProtestJuly 17, 2018 10:28am

Four members of Russian punk protest collective Pussy Riot have been sentenced to 15 days in jail for barging onto the playing field at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow during Sunday’s World Cup final.

The four protesters had run onto the field during the 52nd minute of the France vs. Croatia match wearing old-fashioned police uniforms. They were quickly tackled to the ground and dragged off by FIFA stewards, though one of the protesters still managed to snag a double high-five from French player Kylian Mbappé.

In a statement posted to their Twitter account, Pussy Riot wrote that the disruption was meant to protest the detention of political prisoners, including Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. On Tuesday, Sentsov entered the 65th day of a hunger strike in a high-security prison camp where he is being detained on what several human rights organizations say are trumped-up terrorism charges.

Pussy Riot titled their protest on the field as “Policeman enters the Game.”

A Russian court Monday issued the relatively light prison sentence to the four protesters after finding them guilty of violating the law on proper behavior during spectator sports events and banned them from attending other sports events in Russia for the next three years.

Pussy Riot has been active since 2011, and has been particularly vocal against the administration of President Vladimir Putin, whom they consider a dictator. The group staged a performance in 2012 in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior that gained them international notoriety. The collective can be frequently seen wearing bright colors, and the themes of their protests include LGBT rights and feminism.

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