Pussy Riot member on hunger strike

Maria Alyokhina from Pussy RiotPussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina has been hospitalised a week into her hunger strike.

The incarcerated member of the punk collective started the hunger strike after she was refused the right to attend her parole hearing last week. Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova told the Associated Press that Alyokhina was transferred to a hospital in her prison colony in the town of Berezniki.

Alyokhina was last week denied parole. It’s been reported that the Berezniki court turned down her request for parole as she had apparently “systematically disobeyed prison authorities and failed to repent for her crime”. Alyokhina’s mother Natalia said: “This looked not like a court hearing but like arm-twisting… Clearly the court was not interested in the character of the convict, because the decision was likely made in advance.”Paul McCartney recently wrote a letter to Russian authorities in support of Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who last month was also denied parole but unlike Alyokhina was allowed to attend her hearing. The letters were sent to Russian officials, asking them to consider releasing the two incarcerated women.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were jailed for two years in August 2012 for breach of public order motivated by religious hatred after staging their infamous ‘punk prayer’ protest against Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral. A third Pussy Riot member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on a suspended sentence last October.

by Wallace McTavish
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