Pussy Riot’s Alyokhina to stay in penal colony despite plea to care for young child
BEREZNIKI, (Perm Territory), January 16 - RAPSI. A court near her penal colony in Russia’s Perm district has overturned Pussy Riot member Mariya Alyokhina’s request to suspend her hooliganism sentence in order to care for her young child until he reaches the age of 14.
Under Russian law, courts are authorized to grant suspended sentences in certain cases involving mothers and pregnant women convicted of crimes, in accordance with Article 82 of Russia’s Criminal Code. This typically extends to the age of 14.
A similar claim was launched in November by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the other jailed Pussy Riot member. The claim is currently being processed by Mordovia’s Zubovo-Polyansky Court, and a date has not yet been set.
Five girls in bright colors and balaclavas stormed the altar of Christ the Savior Cathedral in central Moscow in order to perform a “punk rock prayer” shortly before the March 2012 presidential elections which would to return then-prime minister Putin back to the presidency. Dancing around the church’s sacred area, and executing a series of high kicks, the Pussy Riot members shouted requests to the Virgin Mary to "chase Putin out." Video footage of the incident was later posted online, evoking a massive public outcry.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested shortly after the performance. The three were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred in August and sentenced to two years in prison each. On appeal, a judge converted Samutsevich’s sentence to time served with immediate release after her new attorney argued that she had been detained by church security before reaching the stage, and that she thus had not participated in the punk rock prayer. Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina are currently carrying out their sentences.