Imprisoned Pussy Riot member declares hunger strike

Maria Alekhina, 24, was not allowed to attend her parole hearing in person

By Prachi Gupta

Published May 22, 2013 5:20PM (EDT)

Maria Alekhina, one of the Russian punk activist group currently in jail for staging an anti-Putin performance in an Orthodox church last year, has declared a hunger strike in protest of being denied to attend her parole hearing.

Alekhina watched the trial via a video link from prison in Berezniki, a small city in the Urals. At the end of the proceedings on Wednesday, she declared a hunger strike, ordering her defense lawyers "not to take part in this court trial" because the court was violating her rights. "Let the troika sitting here – the judge, the prosecutor and the colony employee – decide my fate," she said.

The parole hearing has been postponed until Thursday.

Alyokhina is expected to be released next March, along with fellow Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who was denied parole last month.

Sentencing for the third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was suspended in October.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Activism Kremlin Maria Alekhina Pussy Riot Russia Vladimir Putin