French demonstrators protesting against the jailing of Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot have been arrested - because of the country's controversial 'niqab' law.

Several of the 30 demonstrators in Marseille, marching outside the Russian consulate, wore the trademark luminous balaclavas which the members of the punk band wore whilst performing their "punk prayer" at Moscow's cathedral.

La Provence newspaper reported that around seven of the protesters were arrested and detained, with the demonstration broken up by police

pussy riot

French protesters demonstrate in support of Pussy Riot

A senior officer told the newspaper: "They are wearing balaclavas in a public space. It's illegal."

The protesters removed their masks at the police request but were driven away in a riot van but later released. The penalty for wearing a face-covering can be €150 fine, apart certain exceptions including a helmet, a fencing mask or as part of a carnival.

The controversial law was passed by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, which banned the wearing of a full face veil in April 2011.

Protests raged worldwide this weekend after the three members of Pusy Riot were sentenced to two years each in prison.

In Ukraine, four feminist activists, one of them topless, used a chainsaw to hack down a wooden cross in Kiev's central square in a show of support. More than 50 brightly-dressed protesters sang Pussy Riot songs outside Gaudi's Sagrada Familia church.

Other protests were seen in Washington, Bulgaria, New York, Copenhagen and London also donned the colorful masks — and some men at the gathering in the British capital even wore dresses in solidarity.

Adam Adamson, who organised the protest, told the Associated Press: "These three girls are just the tip of the iceberg. Many have been arrested because they were opposing Putin."

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  • SPAIN-RUSSIA-POLITICS-MUSIC-RIGHTS-PROTEST

    A supporter of all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' raises her middle finger at a protest near the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona on August 17, 2012 . A Moscow court on Friday pronounced a guilty verdict in the case of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot who staged a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a landmark church.AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • RUSSIA-POLITICS-MUSIC-RIGHTS-PROTEST

    Supporters of feminist punk band Pussy Riot hold posters reading 'I believe in justice!' outside a court building in Moscow on August 17, 2012 where the trial of the band is taking place. Moscow's court today pronounced a guilty verdict in the case of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot who staged a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a landmark church. AFP PHOTO / ANDREY SMIRNOV (Photo credit should read ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages)

  • RUSSIA-POLITICS-MUSIC-RIGHTS-PROTEST

    A man walks past a police van with a sticker reading 'Free Pussy Riot!' outside a court building in Moscow on August 17, 2012 where the trial of feminist punk band Pussy Riot is taking place. Moscow's court today pronounced a guilty verdict in the case of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot who staged a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a landmark church. AFP PHOTO / ANDREY SMIRNOV (Photo credit should read ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages)

  • SPAIN-RUSSIA-POLITICS-MUSIC-RIGHTS-PROTEST

    A supporter of all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' holds up a picture of one of the band members at a protest near the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona on August 17, 2012. A Moscow court on Friday pronounced a guilty verdict in the case of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot who staged a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a landmark church. AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • SPAIN-RUSSIA-POLITICS-MUSIC-RIGHTS-PROTEST

    Supporters of all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' protest near the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona on August 17, 2012 . A Moscow court on Friday pronounced a guilty verdict in the case of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot who staged a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a landmark church.AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • SPAIN-RUSSIA-POLITICS-MUSIC-RIGHTS-PROTEST

    Supporters of all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' protest near the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona on August 17, 2012 . A Moscow court on Friday pronounced a guilty verdict in the case of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot who staged a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a landmark church.AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • BRITAIN-RUSSIA-POLITICS-MUSIC-RIGHTS-PROTEST

    Masked supporters of all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' protest near the Russian embassy in London on August 17, 2012. A Moscow court on Friday pronounced a guilty verdict in the case of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot who staged a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a landmark church. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Protesters gather outside the Russian embassy in Edinburgh to protest against the conviction of members of the provocative Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Photo credit: David Cheskin/PA

  • A policeman tries to detain a masked supporter of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot inside the Turkish embassy near the court in Moscow, Russia. A Moscow judge has sentenced each of three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot to two years in prison on hooliganism charges following a trial that has drawn international outrage as an emblem of Russia's intolerance to dissent. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

  • Police officers detain a supporter of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot outside a court in Moscow, Russia. A Moscow judge has sentenced each of three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot to two years in prison on hooliganism charges following a trial that has drawn international outrage as an emblem of Russia's intolerance to dissent. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

  • Police officers detain a supporter of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot outside a court in Moscow, Russia. A Moscow judge has sentenced each of three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot to two years in prison on hooliganism charges following a trial that has drawn international outrage as an emblem of Russia's intolerance to dissent. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

  • Supporters of the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot protest outside the Russian Embassy in London, as the verdict in their case is announced in Moscow. A Russian judge found three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism on Friday, in one of the most closely watched cases in recent Russian history. The judge said the three band members committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred and offending religious believers. The three were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a new term as Russia's president a few days later. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • A masked demonstrator holds a banner in support of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot, whose members face prison for a stunt against President Vladimir Putin, outside Russia's embassy in Berlin. The three female band members have been in jail for more than five months because of an anti-Putin prank in Moscow's main cathedral. A judge is due to rule on their case Friday. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

  • Protesters hold placards in support of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot, whose members face prison for a stunt against President Vladimir Putin, outside Russia's embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel. The three female band members have been in jail for more than five months because of an anti-Putin prank in Moscow's main cathedral. A judge is due to rule on their case Friday. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. The women, two of whom have young children, are charged with hooliganism connected to religious hatred but the case is widely seen as a warning that authorities will only tolerate opposition under tightly controlled conditions. T-shirt on right worn by Tolokonnikova is Spanish and translates to "They shall not pass", a slogan often used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

  • Amnesty International activists protest close the Russian Embassy in Brussels for the release of three Pussy Riot band members, who face three years in prison for staging a protest stunt against President Vladimir Putin inside a landmark Moscow church. A Moscow court on Friday found guilty three young members of a feminist punk band who captured global attention by defying the Russian authorities and ridiculing President Vladimir Putin in a church. The prosecution has sought three years of corrective labour for a hooliganism motivated by religious hatred conviction. Syrova was expected to issue her sentence later Friday. (Photo credit: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

SEE ALSO

Topless Feminists FEMEN Protest In Support Of Pussy Riot (PICTURES)

Kerry McCarthy: Inside the Pussy Riot Trial

Madonna Dons Pussy Riot's Trademark Balaclava To Show Support In Moscow, Russia (PICTURES)

Pop Stars Urge Putin To Release Punk Band Pussy Riot


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  • Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia on Friday, Aug 17, 2012. The women, two of whom have young children, are charged with hooliganism connected to religious hatred but the case is widely seen as a warning that authorities will only tolerate opposition under tightly controlled conditions. T-shirt on right worn by Tolokonnikova is Spanish and translates to "They shall not pass", a slogan often used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

  • Yekaterina Samutsevich, right, a member of feminist punk group Pussy Riot is excorted to a court room in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Security is tight around a Moscow courthouse where three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are to hear the verdict Friday in a trial that could send them to prison for seven years. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

  • Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, a member of feminist punk group Pussy Riot is escorted to a court room in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Security is tight around the Moscow courthouse where three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are to hear the verdict Friday in a trial that could send them to prison for seven years. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

  • Feminist punk group Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sits at a glass cage at a court in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Security is tight around the Moscow courthouse where three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are to hear the verdict Friday in a trial that could send them to prison for seven years. T-shirt on right worn by Tolokonnikova is Spanish and translates to "They shall not pass", a slogan often used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

  • Feminist punk group Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich sits inside a glass cage at a court in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Security is tight around a Moscow courthouse where three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are to hear the verdict Friday in a trial that could send them to prison for seven years. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

  • Feminist punk group Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina sits inside a glass cage at a court in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Security is tight around a Moscow courthouse where three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are to hear the verdict Friday in a trial that could send them to prison for seven years. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

  • Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia on Friday, Aug 17, 2012. The women, two of whom have young children, are charged with hooliganism connected to religious hatred, but the case is widely seen as a warning that authorities will only tolerate opposition under tightly controlled conditions.(AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

  • Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia on Friday, Aug 17, 2012. The women, two of whom have young children, are charged with hooliganism connected to religious hatred. But the case is widely seen as a warning that authorities will tolerate opposition only under tightly controlled conditions.T-shirt on right worn by Tolokonnikova is Spanish and translates to "They shall not pass", a slogan often used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy.(AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

  • Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, Yekaterina Samutsevich, left, and Maria Alekhina, center, members of feminist punk group Pussy Riot seen behind a glass wall at a court in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. The three members who were jailed in March following a guerrilla performance denouncing President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral, and they now face a maximum seven years in jail. T-shirt on right worn by Tolokonnikova is Spanish and translates to "They shall not pass", a slogan often used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

  • Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, Yekaterina Samutsevich, left, and Maria Alekhina, center, members of feminist punk group Pussy Riot seen behind a glass wall at a court in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012.

  • Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, Maria Alekhina, center, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. The three women in the band have been in jail for more than five months because of a prank they carried out in Moscow's main cathedral in a demonstration against Russia's Vladimir Putin, and they now face a maximum seven years in jail. T-shirt on right worn by Tolokonnikova is Spanish and translates to "They shall not pass", a slogan often used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

  • Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of female Russian punk band Pussy Riot, stands inside defendands cage in a Moscow court, on April 19, 2012, during the hearings on the Pussy Riot case. Three members of the all-woman punk band 'Pussy Riot' were detained two months ago, after they climbed on the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral -- the country's central place of worship -- and sang a song they called a 'Punk Prayer'. The women have been charged with hooliganism committed by an organised group -- an unusually harsh charge for protesters. (Photo credit: ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Members of the all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L), Maria Alyokhina (R) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (C), sit behind bars during a court hearing in Moscow on July 30, 2012. In February, five women walked silently into Moscow's Church of Christ the Saviour before clambering over railings, pulling on balaclavas and yelling out a protest song against Vladimir Putin. The 'punk prayer' by the all-woman group Pussy Riot lasted around a minute. Three women arrested in March over the incident face up to seven years in a prison colony after being charged with hooliganism and have already spent four months awaiting trial . (Photo credit: ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Members of the all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L), Maria Alyokhina (R) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (C), sit behind bars during a court hearing in Moscow on July 30, 2012. In February, five women walked silently into Moscow's Church of Christ the Saviour before clambering over railings, pulling on balaclavas and yelling out a protest song against Vladimir Putin. The 'punk prayer' by the all-woman group Pussy Riot lasted around a minute. Three women arrested in March over the incident face up to seven years in a prison colony after being charged with hooliganism and have already spent four months awaiting trial . (Photo credit: ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Members of the all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot' Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L), Maria Alyokhina (R) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (C), sit behind bars during a court hearing in Moscow on July 23, 2012. Three members of the all-woman punk band 'Pussy Riot' Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were detained, after they climbed on the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral on February 21, 2012 - the country's central place of worship - and sang a song they called a 'Punk Prayer'. The women have been charged with hooliganism committed by an organised group - an unusually harsh charge for protesters. (Photo credit: ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A Police officer escorts a member of female punk band 'Pussy Riot' Nadezhda Tolokonnikova during a court hearing in Moscow on July 20, 2012. Three members of the all-woman punk band 'Pussy Riot' Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were detained, after they climbed on the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral on February 21, 2012 - the country's central place of worship - and sang a song they called a 'Punk Prayer'. The women have been charged with hooliganism committed by an organised group - an unusually harsh charge for protesters. (Photo credit: ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages)

  • One of the few supporters of female Russian punk band Pussy Riot rally outside a Moscow court, on July 9, 2012, to support the musicians during the hearings on the Pussy Riot case. Three members of the all-woman punk band 'Pussy Riot' were detained, after wearing masks they climbed on the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral - the country's central place of worship - and sang a song they called a 'Punk Prayer'. The women have been charged with hooliganism committed by an organised group - an unusually harsh charge for protesters. (Photo credit: ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Supporters of female Russian punk band Pussy Riot, who were detained outside a Moscow court during the hearings on the Pussy Riot case, on July 4, 2012, wave from window of a police bus. Three members of the all-woman punk band 'Pussy Riot' were detained, after they climbed on the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral - the country's central place of worship - and sang a song they called a 'Punk Prayer'. The women have been charged with hooliganism committed by an organised group - an unusually harsh charge for protesters. (Photo credit: ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A man writes on a wall dedicated to supporting the detained members of the Russian all-girl punk rock band Pussy Riot on June 18, 2012, in Prague. The members of the radical group climbed on the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral -- the country's central place of worship -- on February 21 and sang a song they called a 'Punk Prayer' before being seized by guards. The women have been charged with hooliganism committed by an organised group -- an unusually harsh charge for protesters - and face a potential 7 years in prison. (Photo credit: MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/GettyImages)