Russian court denies suspension of jail term for Pussy Riot member

Russian court suspends jail term for Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina until son turns 14 (RIA Novosti / Pavel Lysizin)

Russian court suspends jail term for Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina until son turns 14 (RIA Novosti / Pavel Lysizin)

A Russian court has denied a bid to suspend the two-year prison sentence for Maria Alyokhina, a member of feminist punk band Pussy Riot, until her 5-year-old son turned 14. She was jailed last year over the group’s protest at Moscow’s main cathedral.

­A court in the town of Berezniky in Russia’s Perm region, where Alyokhina is serving her jail term, has turned down her appeal to be released in order to raise her 5-year-old son Philippe. The court ruled Alyokhina must finish the rest of her two-year term, most of which has already been served.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, another jailed member of Pussy Riot who also has an underage child, continues to serve her sentence in Mordovia prison camp, notorious for its harsh conditions. There has been no information so far on whether her lawyers attempted to have her sentence suspended as well.

The third imprisoned member of Pussy Riot, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on probation in October 2012 after successfully appealing her conviction.

The three members of Pussy Riot were arrested in February 2012 following their provocative ‘punk prayer’ at the altar of Christ the Savior Cathedral in central Moscow, Russia’s main Orthodox house of worship.

On August 17, 2012, Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Samutsevich were each sentenced to three years in prison for ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,’ and for showing flagrant disregard for church parishioners and the fundamentals of the Orthodox faith.