Last night, Maria Alekhina was apprehended by Russian authorities and brought to a Moscow police department under orders of « administrative detention » on unknown charges. Masha was designated an AR-Resident Prisoner by Artists at Risk (AR) in December 2021, and this latest arrest comes only days before a high-profile keynote speech she was scheduled to give at a symposium Artists at Risk (AR) is organising with ZKM – Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, with the subtitle “Alliances for Art at Risk”. For the full programme see: https://zkm.de/en/event/2022/02/institutions-and-resistance-alliances-for-art-at-risk.
This is the fourth time in less than a year that Alekhina was detained in closed prison. For most of last year, she was also in pre-trial detention under house arrest. In December she was finally given a sentence of “restricted freedom” (a complicated regime regulating her movements, not much better than house arrest) for one whole year. Since late 2021, Artists at Risk (AR) has designated Alekhina their first AR-Resident Prisoner.
Maria “Masha” Alekhina is an artist, activist, and founding member of feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot. She was designated the first AR-Resident Prisoner in late 2021 following a year of repeated arrests. For a tweet promoting protests in support of demonstrations for jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in January 2021, Alekhina was repeatedly arrested and sentenced to 15-day administrative detentions in closed prison, while awaiting her trial concerning the events of January. Her most recent arrest was on December 15th, 2021, when she was apprehended from her front door and again sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention for a social media post from 2015. Read more here: