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Protester hospitalized after nailing his testicles to Red Square cobblestone to protest Russian ‘police state’

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, November 10, 2013 9:26 EDT
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The Kremlin said Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured in Red Square in Moscow on May 9, is too busy to attend a summit hosted by Barack Obama in the United States next week, in an inauspicious start to their new relationship. (AFP Photo/Vladimir Rodionov)
 
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A Russian performance artist was hospitalised Sunday after stripping naked and nailing his testicles to a Red Square cobblestone in protest against the Kremlin’s crackdown on political rights.

A video of the graphic action, available on Russian websites, showed artist Pyotr Pavlensky sitting naked outside Lenin’s Mausoleum being covered with a blanket by police officers while horrified passersby looked on.

The state-run RIA Novosti news agency said Pavlensky was taken to a police station after being treated in a central Moscow clinic.

The Saint Petersburg-based artist said in a statement posted on the Grani.ru website that he was trying to draw attention to Russian society’s inaction in the face of the development of a “police state”.

Russia marked its annual Police Day holiday on Sunday.

It is not the first time the 29-year-old has resorted to eye-watering methods of protest.

He has previously sown his lips together to demonstrate against the jailing of two female members of the Pussy Riot punk band who staged an anti-Kremlin performance inside Moscow’s main cathedral in 2011.

He was also arrested after wrapping his naked body in barbed wire outside a Saint Petersburg government building in May.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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