General News

Jailed Russian punk star denied parole

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May 23, 2013 | 1:42pm EDT

Jailed Pussy Riot star Maria Alekhina has been denied parole after a Russian judge ruled she had failed to show remorse for her hooliganism conviction. The punk musician is one of two bandmembers serving time for performing a protest song at a prominent Orthodox Moscow cathedral last year (12), and her appeal for freedom was heard in Berezniki City Court on Wednesday (22May13). However, Alekhina was barred from attending the hearing in person and instead appeared via teleconference from her prison cell, during which she ordered her lawyers to stop representing her and then declared that she was embarking on a hunger strike to protest her court ban. Prosecutors argued against Alekhina's request for parole and claimed she had repeatedly broken prison rules, and on Thursday (23May13), a judge ruled in their favour. A lawyer for Alekhina reveals the musician is planning to appeal the parole denial. The decision came just a day after Sir Paul McCartney revealed he had written letters to Russian authorities to personally request they free Alekhina and her bandmate Nadazhda Tolokonnikova. A third member of the punk band, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was also ordered to serve two years behind bars last August (12), but she was released in October (12) when her sentence was commuted.

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