Behemoth have been jailed in Russia midway through their tour of the nation, frontman Nergal has reported.
He says the Polish outfit were detained ahead of a concert in the city of Yekaterinburg – and the suggestion they were travelling with incorrect paperwork was nothing more than a “pretext.”
They’re now behind bars, and expect to be deported after a trial hearing today.
The incident comes amid heightened tensions in Russia over civil liberties and follows the high-profile case of Pussy Riot, some of whom were subjected to imprisonment without bail and hard labour by Russian authorities in 2013.
Nergal reported last night: “We were detained by immigration services under the pretext of bad visas. When I said I do not move from the club without the presence of someone from the Polish Embassy, they threatened us with force.
“They took us in a bus, in the company of about 10 officers, to the Federal Migration Service. We tried to reach to the Polish Embassy in Yekaterinburg – but no one picks up.”
Asking for friends and fans to share his message in the hope that Polish authorities could be contacted, Nergal said he thought he was facing several hours of questioning. He added: “I just want to return to the hotel, then to Poland.”
Later last night he made a further statement, saying: “It looks like it’s going to be a normal jail as soon as we receive our phone calls. At 9am we have court, then the judgment and possibly deportation.”
Behemoth are currently touring in support of tenth album The Satanist. They’re scheduled to play the Download festival (opens in new tab) in June.