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Plea Denied for Pussy Riot Member

Maria Alyokhina sought a deferred prison sentence so she care for her young son

Maria Alyokhina
NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/GettyImages
January 17, 2013 10:35 AM ET

A Russian court has denied imprisoned Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina's plea to defer her sentence so she could take care of her five-year-old, the BBC reports. A few months into her two-year sentence, Alyokhina asked if she could complete her term when her son was older.

"The court has decided that the fact that Alyokhina has a young child was taken into account by Moscow's Khamovnichesky court," the judge reportedly said, as quoted by Russian news agency Interfax. "No new circumstances have been established."

Pussy Riot: Their Trial in Pictures

Alyokhina and her bandmates, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were arrested last year after Pussy Riot shot a music video in Moscow's main cathedral, reciting a "punk prayer" that protested the church and President Vladimir Putin. All three were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" back in August; both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova lost their appeals against their jail terms in October, while Samutsevich's sentence was suspended.

In her most recent plea, Alyokhina argued, "I'm in a situation where I have to prove here that my son needs me, which is obvious." Before the ruling, her husband Peter Verzilov, who has been campaigning on his wife's behalf, said their son Flipp "is small and misses his mother."

In November Alyokhina requested for transfer to a single-person cell when tensions arose between her and other inmates after she reportedly declined to take part in a hunger strike.

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