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Two Pussy Riot members flee Russia to 'recruit foreign feminists'

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:27 PM EDT, Mon August 27, 2012
Pussy Riot supporters took to Twitter to vent their anger against the band's two-year sentence.
Pussy Riot supporters took to Twitter to vent their anger against the band's two-year sentence.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The pair fled "because of the danger," female punk rock band said on Twitter
  • Russia was searching for two members who took part in a controversial performance
  • 12 to 14 other members of the band are still in the country, jailed performer's husband says

Moscow (CNN) -- Two members of the female punk rock band Pussy Riot have fled Russia, the group said.

"In regard to the pursuit, two of our members have successfully fled the country! Recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new actions," the group said on Twitter.

A Russian court this month sentenced three members of the band to two years in prison after they were found guilty of hooliganism for performing a song critical of President Vladimir Putin in a church.

Pussy Riot members found guilty
Husband of Pussy Riot member speaks out
Star support for Russian punk band

Five members had taken part in the performance, but authorities had managed to arrest only three. Russian police were searching for the other two participants.

While Pussy Riot tweeted Sunday that two members fled the country "because of the danger," Pyotr Verzilov, husband of jailed band member Nadezdha Tolokonnikova, would not say Monday whether the two who have fled took part in the February performance in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

"Two girls have left the country to protect themselves. They are in the safe place. Talking about whether they will stay there forever, it's hard to say because nothing lasts forever. Probably they will return one day. But you must remember that there are 12 or even 14 members who are still in Russia and participate in the band's work now," he said.

Verzilov would not say whether the two have formally applied for asylum in another country.

The sentencing and conviction of Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich triggered international condemnation.

CNN's Alla Eshchenko and Josh Levs contributed to this report.

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