Russia

Judge Denies Deferred Sentence for Pussy Riot Member

Asked to push back prison due to young son

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Today a Russian court in the Urals Mountains city of Berezniki, near where Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina is serving a two-year prison camp sentence, denied the artist's request that her sentence be deferred until her five-year-old son becomes a teenager, the AP reports. In denying Alekhina's request, Judge Galina Yefremova noted that the court that sentenced her and her two fellow bandmates — one of whom, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released last October after her sentence was suspended — had already taken her son's existence and age into consideration when giving her a two year sentence.

Alekhina said that to be separated from her son Filipp during these formative years will do irreparable psychological damage. Nevertheless, she adamantly refused to plead guilty to the original charges of hooliganism in hopes of earning a deferral in return. "No one will force me to say I'm guilty," she said, "I have nothing to repent for… I'm in a situation where I have to prove here that my son needs me, which is obvious."