General News

Russian punk star calls for boycott of 2014 Winter Olympics

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Nov 15, 2013 | 6:09am EST

Controversial Pussy Riot star Yekaterina Samutsevich has joined calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in her home nation of Russia. The punk rocker insists the upcoming event in Sochi is losing its focus on sport and has become highly politicised because of some of president Vladimir Putin's controversial policies, which include anti-gay legislation. She tells Reuters, "An event which should be purely about sport is becoming highly politicised and rife with conflict. Our authorities are to blame for that... It (a boycott) has to happen because the latest policies go too far... They are obviously tightening the screws." Samutsevich, along with her bandmates Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, was jailed in 2012 over a controversial protest track aimed at Putin which they performed at a church in Moscow. Samutsevich was freed in October last year (12) when her sentence was commuted, and Tolokonnikova and Alekhina are set to be released in March (14). A number of stars, including Stephen Fry, Lily Allen and Alan Cumming, have backed calls for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia to be boycotted or moved, while Madonna, Cher and Lady Gaga have all spoken out against the country's controversial anti-gay policies.

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