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Pussy Riot Member on Hunger Strike Taken to Hospital

Imprisoned punk-rocker is protesting 'persecution campaign'

May 28, 2013 8:30 AM ET
Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot
Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot
NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/GettyImages

Imprisoned Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina has been hospitalized as she completes the first week of a hunger strike. The husband of one of her bandmates told The Associated Press that Alyokhina had been transferred to a hospital unit within the prison colony in the Ural Mountains where she's being held. 

Last week, Alyokhina began a hunger strike in protest of a Russian court decision that refused to grant permission for her to attend her own parole hearing. The court later denied the Pussy Riot member's bid for parole on ground that she hadn't repented for what the court characterized as her crimes. Alyokhina and two other members of Pussy Riot were sentenced last August to two years in prison after they were convicted of  "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin they staged in Moscow's main cathedral last year.

Pussy Riot Member Denied Parole

Alyokhina's lawyers published a letter written by the punk rocker on Monday claiming that prison officials were attempting to turn other inmates against her by increasing security presence in advance of the parole hearing. Inmates, for example, were previously allowed to enter and leave their workplace freely, but are now required to wait for a prison guard escort. The wait, which can take up to an hour, denies swift access to medical attention for injuries received while sewing uniforms. 

The Pussy Riot member has noted other injustices during her inprisonment which include spending five months in solitary confinement after officials deliberately placed her with hardened criminals who were encouraged to intimidate the rocker. Additionally, false psychiatric reports were written about the dissident by Russian officials. 

Recently, judges have removed several reprimands filed against Alyokhina. 

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