Pussy Riot Member Banned From Her Own Parole Hearing, Begins Hunger Strike

Credit: Denis Bochkarev/wikimediaCredit: Denis Bochkarev/wikimediaJailed Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina has begun a hunger strike, protesting a court decision banning her from attending her own parole hearing.

Alyokhina and two of her fellow Pussy Riot members were sentenced to two years in prison for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after performing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow cathedral. Yekaterina Samutsevich, another member of Pussy Riot, had her sentence suspended after her lawyers successfully argued she was restrained by guards outside the cathedral before she could get her guitar out of its case.

From The Guardian:

Maria Alyokhina, 24, also forbade her lawyers from further representing her during the parole hearing, becoming the most high-profile prisoner to reject taking part in a justice system widely criticised as absurd.

A regional court in Berezniki, a small city in the Urals region of Perm where Alyokhina's prison colony is situated, had denied the activist the right to appear at her parole hearing on Wednesday. She appeared via videolink, and was required to file all motions by fax, requiring regular breaks in the hearing.

At the end of the day-long hearing, she announced she would start a hunger strike. The parole hearing was due to continue on Thursday.

"Let the troika sitting here – the judge, the prosecutor and the colony employee – decide my fate," Alyokhina said at the close of Wednesday's proceedings, referring to the Soviet-era three-person commissions that issued sentences to perceived enemies without a trial.

The European Union recently expressed concern over Russia’s human rights record, and last month Human Rights Watch released a report stating that, "The Russian government has unleashed a crackdown on civil society unprecedented in the country's post-Soviet history."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    That reminds me. I need to light my solidarity candles; they haven't been lit since January 2012.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yikes. The "hooliganism" actually occurred in March of 2012. Why does this sound like a 2011 story to me?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    "Yekaterina Samutsevich, another member of Pussy Riot, had her sentence suspended after her lawyers successfully argued she was restrained by guards outside the cathedral before she could get her guitar out of its case."

    Remember, it's not a crime until the guitar comes out of the case!

    http://grooveshark.com/s/You+C.....6baV?src=5

  • JeremyR||

    So, are you going to bring this up the next time you are on Russia Today, Putin's propaganda arm?

    Nope?

  • Jon Lester||

    Never has a band been so popular among so many who've never actually heard their music.

    Seriously, I think the whole thing's more of a farce than anything worse. I would submit that if this had happened in Italy or Mexico, public opinion would be much less favorable, and if anyone thinks 3 years is a harsh sentence, then maybe they should lobby the Germans:

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_.....rmany?lite

  • Gordilocks||

    I have a friend that truly believes that somehow, the Russian Government is on the right path, and that Putin is to be celebrated ... and he is a Freeman/Sovereignty cat, to boot. He never seems to have an answer when I ask if his Freeman way of life, and his near constant public rants against the government, would fly while living in Russia.

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    The USG and the necons don't like so obviously he is a good guy. Of course the same could be said for Hitler and Stalin...

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    "The USG and the neocons don't like him"

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Which US government? FDR was not exactly a big foe of Stalin, and some of the people in his administration gave him a moustache ride.

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    Of course I was referring to the Cold War as supposed to WWII or the interwar period.

  • WomSom||

    So, who comes up with all that crazy stuff man? Wow.

    www.Prox-Anon.tk

  • Jon Lester||

    Khimki Forest dot com. You will care. You'll actually hear a song, too.

  • Robert||

    I want her trial to start so we can get all the puns about Alekhine's defense.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement