Pussy Riot's Alyokhina to stay in jail despite child's age - appeals court
PERM, March 4 - RAPSI. The Perm Territory Court has dismissed Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina's appeal against the Berezniki City Court's decision to reject her deferment plea, the court spokesperson told RIA Novosti on Monday.
The Berezniki court concluded in mid January that the fact that Alyokhina has a small child had been taken into account by the Khamovniki District Court in Moscow which passed the original verdict on the three members of the Pussy Riot punk group last August, and that no new arguments had been provided to justify the mitigation of her punishment.
Alyokhina and her lawyers also appealed to the Berezniki court to invalidate the four penalties levied on her in prison, in particular for violating the prison routine.
The court invalidated two of the penalties, one for getting up late and the other for uncivil behavior towards a prison employee, and upheld the other two penalties, one for getting up late and the other for handing private correspondence over to a lawyer.
Alyokhina was placed in solitary confinement in November 2012 upon her own request after she complained that she had problems with her cellmates. She will remain in solitary confinement for three more months for safety reasons.
In late February 2012, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas staged a "punk-style" prayer at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. An edited video of their performance was posted on the Internet and caused a public outcry.
Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested shortly thereafter. On August 17, 2012, the Khamovniki District Court sentenced them to two years in a prison settlement for disorderly conduct.
On October 10, 2012, the Moscow City Court changed Samutsevich's verdict to a suspended sentence and released her immediately, based on her new attorneys' argument that she was seized by security guards prior to reaching the altar and therefore did not actually take part in the punk prayer performance.
Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova's sentences were upheld.