01:01 - Source: RT
'Free Pussy Riot' scrawled in blood

Story highlights

NEW: Lawyers for Pussy Riot condemn the murders, say the band backed peaceful protest

Investigators: The words "Free Pussy Riot" are scrawled on a wall above two murder victims

The bodies are those of a 76-year-old woman and her daughter, investigators say

Three members of the punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to prison terms this month

Moscow CNN —  

Russian police arrested a suspect in the killing of two women found beneath a slogan demanding freedom for imprisoned members of the female punk rock band Pussy Riot.

The words “Free Pussy Riot” were scrawled in English on the apartment wall above the bodies of a 76-year-old woman and her 38-year-old daughter, investigators in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan said in a statement.

The two women, who shared a home, died of numerous stab wounds, investigators in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan said.

Their bodies were found Wednesday.

An investigation is under way.

The murder inquiry comes two weeks after a Moscow court sentenced three members of Pussy Riot to two years’ imprisonment, sparking international condemnation.

The three women were found guilty of hooliganism for performing a song critical of President Vladimir Putin in one of the Russian Orthodox Church’s most important cathedrals.

Representatives of the jailed band members rejected the supposed link between Pussy Riot and the slayings.

“I just found out about the incident in Kazan. Either it’s a terrible provocation…Or psychiatry,” Violetta Volkova, a lawyer for Pussy Riot, tweeted.

Those responsible “need to be found and punished,” she said.

Nikolay Polozov, a lawyer for the band members, posted on Twitter: “It’s weird that the media mention ‘supporters of Pussy Riot’ while commenting on the murder in Kazan. Dear journalists, please wait for official statements from Investigative committee.”

“What happened in Kazan is terrible. Pussy Riot always supported peaceful protest,” he added.

Whether the suspect or suspects in the Kazan murder are truly supporters of Pussy Riot remains unclear.

Two other members of the band have fled Russia “because of the danger,” according to the husband of one of the three sent to prison.

Public opinion in Russia is divided on the band, which specializes in provocative performances aimed at making political statements.

Kazan, in western Russia, is one of the country’s larger cities, with more than a million inhabitants.

CNN’s Alla Eshchenko contributed to this report.