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Pussy Riot member's bid for parole from Russian prison denied

July 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM   |   Comments

PERM, Russia, July 24 (UPI) -- A Russian territorial court upheld a city court's refusal to order the parole of Maria Alyokhina, a member of the punk band Pussy Riot.

The Perm Territorial Court decided Alyokhina will remain in prison, the Russian news agency Interfax reported Wednesday.

Irina Khrunova, the band member's lawyer, said inmates of Berezniki penal colony in where Alyokhina has been serving her sentence were being turned against her client.

"The girls were shown a pornographic film and told that Alyokhina was in it although the character's face could not be seen," Khrunova said, adding the lawyer had only learned about the incident the previous day.

On Feb. 21, 2012, several Pussy Riot members gave a controversial performance at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. Three band members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Alyokhina were arrested on disorderly conduct charges. The women said they were not guilty because they had not intended to insult the faithful, Interfax reported.

The Khamovnichesky Court found the three guilty of disorderly conduct on the basis of religious enmity and sentenced each to two years in prison on Aug. 17.

The Moscow City Court later suspended Samutsevich's sentence, and upheld Tolokonnikova's and Alyokhina's sentences.

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