Russia

Pussy Riot Member Begins Hunger Strike

Refused permission to attend her own parole hearing

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A jailed member of the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot has begun a hunger strike to protest at a court decision to refuse her permission to attend her own parole hearing.

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.