Entertainment & Arts

Pussy Riot member on hunger strike moved to hospital

Maria Alyokhina
Image caption Maria Alyokhina was refused the right to attend her own parole hearing

A member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot who went on hunger strike in jail last week has been taken to hospital.

Maria Alyokhina was moved to a hospital in her prison colony in the Urals town of Berezniki, the husband of one of her bandmates told the Associated Press.

Alyokhina began her protest after being barred from attending a parole hearing.

She and two other members of the Pussy Riot group were jailed after staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral in February 2012.

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

In a letter published by her lawyers earlier this week, Alyokhina claimed prison officials were attempting to turn fellow inmates against her by holding a security crackdown in advance of the parole hearing.

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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