IOC against any Pussy Riot

Sochi Olympics logo (File)
Sochi Olympics logo (File)

Sochi - Any demonstration by Russian punk group Pussy Riot in the Olympic Park in Sochi would be "wholly inappropriate," the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Wednesday.

Spokesperson Mark Adams said Olympic venues were not the place for political demonstrations. "On Pussy Riot, to be honest we don't have a day to day discussion about who may or may not be wanting to do a demonstration in the park. What I would say is if they did it would be whole inappropriate," Adams said in Sochi.

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were detained in Sochi on Tuesday, reportedly for a theft in their hotel. They were later released without charge.

Rights activists including Semyon Simonov, who has been critical of alleged exploitation of construction workers at Olympic sites, and several journalists, were also held. Adams said that "what happened wasn't in the context of any protest against the Games, as I understand."

Adams meanwhile confirmed that Italian activist Vladimir Luxuria, who has been demonstrating in Sochi for gay rights, was escorted from the Olympic Park in an incident on Monday.

"She explicitly had said that she would demonstrate in a venue and clearly venues are not the place where we would like to have political demonstration," Adams said. She was "very carefully and gently escorted to the exit," and is now believed to have returned to Italy.

Luxuria, a transgender television personality, actress and former member of parliament, had said earlier in the week she had been detained and later released by police Sunday while watching the Olympics with a banner reading "Gay is OK" in Russian.

Sochi organisers said police had no record of the incident.

Russia had faced Games boycott calls ahead of the Winter Olympics over a law banning gay "propaganda" to minors.

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