Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina 'ends hunger strike'

Maria Alyokhina, Aug 2012 Alyokhina previously spent five months in solitary confinement

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Maria Alyokhina, a jailed member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, has ended her hunger strike after 11 days, her friend has said.

Pyotr Verzilov, husband of band-mate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, said Alyokhina's health was satisfactory.

He said her demands over security for inmates at the prison colony in the Urals town of Berezniki had been met.

Three Pussy Riot members were jailed after an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral in February 2012.

Yekaterina Samutsevich had her sentence suspended on appeal last October. Tolokonnikova was denied parole last month.

Padlocks

Alyokhina had been moved to a hospital in her prison colony on Tuesday.

She begun her hunger strike after claiming prison officials were attempting to turn fellow inmates against her by holding a security crackdown in advance of her parole hearing.

She alleged that prisoners who formerly entered workplaces freely had to wait long periods for prison guards to escort them.

Mr Verzilov told Agence France-Presse: "Maria said that the prison administration took her on a special tour of the colony, to show her that her demands have been met."

He said the padlocks on buildings where inmates work had been removed.

He also told Interfax that Alyokhina's lawyer had filed an appeal against a court's refusal to grant her leave to apply for parole.

Alyokhina previously spent five months in solitary confinement after claiming that officials deliberately lodged her with hardened criminals and encouraged them to intimidate her.

The Pussy Riot trio were jailed for two years last August after being convicted of a breach of public order motivated by religious hatred.

The prosecution prompted worldwide condemnation, with Sir Paul McCartney among those calling for the band members to be freed.

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