Pussy Riot member, Maria Alekhina, denied parole

 

A court has denied parole to a member of the Pussy Riot punk group.

The ruling came despite letters from the musicians Sir Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel and Patti Smith urging the court to free Maria Alekhina and the other Pussy Riot member still in prison, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. In its ruling, a court in Perm province accepted a claim by prosecutors that Alekhina had systematically disobeyed prison authorities and failed to repent for her crime, Russian media reported.

Alekhina went on a hunger strike on Wednesday after being barred from the hearing, even though the court is across the street from the prison where she is serving her sentence for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”. She also ordered her defence not to participate. Band members Alekhina, Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich gained worldwide fame last year when a Moscow court jailed them for two years for conducting a punk protest in Moscow’s main cathedral. Samtusevich was later released on appeal.

A lawyer for Alekhina said the musician would appeal against the ruling.

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