Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Pussy Riot member on hunger strike

Pussy Riot's Maria Alekhina is threatening a hunger strike in prison

An imprisoned member of the punk band Pussy Riot says she is going on hunger strike after a judge refused to allow her to attend a court hearing where she was seeking release on parole.

Maria Alekhina and fellow feminist band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are serving two-year sentences for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for an impromptu protest in Moscow's main cathedral last year.

Maria Alekhina, watching the trial from a prison colony via video link, ordered her defense team not to participate in the hearing, saying the court was violating her rights.

A judge in the province of Perm in the Ural mountains, where Alekhina is being held, postponed the hearing.

Tolokonnikova's appeal for parole was denied last month. A third band member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was paroled last year.

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