Pussy Riot detained in Sochi
Pussy Riot detained in Sochi@MashaAlekhina

The two Pussy Riot members who were arrested by Russian police in Sochi, the site of the Winter Olympic Games, have been accused of committing theft in a local hotel, according to reports.

"They are being questioned concerning a theft at a hotel they are staying at. Along with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Mariya Alyokhina, all the hotel's guests are being questioned," police told Interfax news agency.

The pair, released from prison in Russia in December in a surprising amnesty by Vladimir Putin, said they were simply walking down the street when they were detained.

Tolokonnikova said she believes the real reason for the detention was their plan to to perform and record a music video for a new Pussy Riot song entitled Putin Will Teach You To Love The Motherland.

Amnesty International has called for the release of the punk band members along with other seven activists and journalists.

"In Putin's Russia, the authorities have turned the Olympic rings – a worldwide symbol of hope and striving for the best of the human spirit – into handcuffs to shackle freedom of expression," said John Dalhuisen, Director of Europe and Central Asia Programme at Amnesty International.

"This is outrageous. There are reports of arrests of activists in Sochi and the Olympic Games area almost daily. The International Olympic Committee must roundly condemn these and all arrests of activists near Sochi.

"People are being targeted merely for peacefully speaking their minds. The Russian authorities must end this downward spiral of human rights violations around the Olympic Village."

Semyon Simonov, a local human rights activist who was held along with the group, said they had been stopped by police while walking along the street and put inside a police van.

The activists are being detained in central Sochi, some 30km north of the main Olympic venues.