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Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina ends hunger strike

Pyotr Verzilov - husband of bandmate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova - says her health is satisfactory

PA
Photo: PA
Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina has ended her hunger strike after 11 days, according to reports.

It emerged earlier this week that Alyokinha had been hospitalised due to her refusal to eat food, a protest which she began after she was refused the right to attend her parole hearing. She had also claimed that prison officials had implemented a security crackdown in advance of the hearing in an attempt to turn other inmates against her.

However, Pyotr Verzilov - the husband of Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova - has now revealed that she had ended her protest after her demands over security for inmates at the colony were met, according to the BBC.

Speaking about her anger that prisoners who had been able to enter workplaces freely were now being forced to wait for prison guards to escort them, he said: "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 also revealed that padlocks had been removed from buildings where the inmates work.

Alyokhina's lawyer, meanwhile, has also apparently filed an appeal against a Russian court's decision to allow her leave for appeal. Previously, the Berezniki court turned down her request for parole as she had apparently "systematically disobeyed prison authorities and failed to repent for her crime".

Paul McCartney recently wrote a letter to Russian authorities in support of Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who last month was also denied parole but unlike Alyokhina was allowed to attend her hearing. The letters were sent to Russian officials, asking them to consider releasing the two incarcerated women.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were jailed for two years in August 2012 for breach of public order motivated by religious hatred after staging their infamous 'punk prayer' protest against Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral. A third Pussy Riot member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on a suspended sentence last October.

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