MOSCOW, December 15 (RAPSI) – Police in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod have suspended an investigation of an attack on Maria Alyokhina, member of the infamous feminist punk group Pussy Riot, at McDonald’s in March 2014, Interfax reports on Monday citing local police source.
Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who were released from prison shortly before the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, were in Nizhny Novgorod on the Volga for a meeting with inmates at a local women’s prison. On March 6, they were having breakfast at McDonald’s near the Moskovsky Railway terminal when several young men surrounded their table and threw “metal objects,” green antiseptic and pepper spray at them. The men also shouted “Go to America!” and held up a sign saying “Dirty whores, get out of the city,” according to Reuters and AFP.
An ambulance took Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova to a hospital for a checkup. The Voina art group wrote on Twitter that Tolokonnikova had first-degree chemical eye burns and Alyokhina a concussion.
According to the case materials, one of the attackers threw a metal object at Alyokhina, hitting her in the head.
The local police refused to open investigation into the attack three times, and each time Alyokhina’s defense team appealed against their decision. After a pretrial investigation was launched, it was extended twice because the plaintiff was not in Russia.
Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were imprisoned on hooliganism charges in August 2012 for performing a song critical of Putin in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. After their release, they resolved to focus on improving conditions in Russia’s prisons.