Moscow, Oct. 18 (Reuters): Pussy Riot punk band member Maria Alyokhina today dropped her plea for early release from jail to show support for a band mate on hunger strike to protest against prison conditions.
Alyokhina, 25, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are serving two-year sentences for a profanity-laced protest against President Vladimir Putin in Russia’s main cathedral.
“I have no moral right to take part in this court hearing at a time when my friend and fellow convict Nadezhda Tolokonnikova does not have such an opportunity,” Alyokhina told the court in the Volga river city of Nizhny Novgorod.
Tolokonnikova, 24, was taken to hospital last month on the ninth day of a hunger strike to protest against what she called “slave labour” at Corrective Colony No. 14 in the Mordovia region, southeast of Moscow, where she is serving her sentence.
She renewed her hunger strike on Friday after being transferred back to the prison late on Thursday evening.