Pussy Riot Member Denied Parole Again

Maria Alyokhina will remain in jail despite hunger strike and support

Pussy Riot parole Maria Alyokhina
Maria Alyokhina's parole was denied for the second time Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Dan Reilly WRITTEN BY
Dan Reilly

Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina will remain in Russian prison, her parole having been denied once again. The punk activist's latest bid for clemency took place in a regional court in Perm, though she was not actually allowed to attend. Instead, the 25-year-old mother and practicing vegan spoke to the judge via a live video link, the BBC reports.

Alyokhina is over halfway through a two-year sentence for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" following the feminist collective's anti-Putin performance in Moscow's main cathedral last year. After an initial appeal was denied, she went on an 11-day hunger strike in response to being barred from her second hearing. She was later moved to a jail closer to Perm but authorities decided not to let her in the court for unknown reasons.

Fellow Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is also still serving her sentence, while Yekaterina Samutsevich was freed in October. Her lawyer successfully argued that she was grabbed by security before reaching the cathedral's altar and therefore did not take place in the protest. The group has other members who didn't partake in the offending "Punk Protest." They released a new song and video, "Like a Red Prison," last week.

Meanwhile, a star-studded collection of musicians as diverse as Ke$ha, Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, Adele, and more signed an open letter professing solidarity with the jailed women. Over 3,000 people also took part in a petition demanding their release. Many musicians had already pledged their support, including Paul McCartney and Madonna, and the Rough Trade label is compiling an art/poetry collection with help from Kim Gordon, Robyn, and more.

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