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Pussy Riot Member Denied Appeal

PussyRiot

The plight of Pussy Riot rages on, and the ripple effect is now being felt, as Maria Alekhina, one of the imprisoned members of the Russian punk collective, saw her recent appeal denied by a Russian court. Alekhina, 24, had asked for a deferral of her two-year prison sentence due to the fact that she has a 5-year-old son, who is now being cared for by her mother.

According to NME.com, despite Alekhina’s plea, the Berezniki City Court upheld its decision, saying that the fact that she has a young child was already considered when her sentence was handed down.

David Diaz-Jogeix, the Deputy Director of Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia, weighed in on the appeal denial, calling it “a further travesty of justice.”

“The three Pussy Riot singers should not have been prosecuted in the first place,” he added. “Today’s decision has proven again that the Russian authorities are uncompromising in their suppression of freedom of expression.”

“Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova should be released, immediately and unconditionally, while the suspended sentence of Ekaterina Samutsevich should be overturned,” Diaz-Jogeix continued.

Samutsevich is the only member of the trio to receive a suspended sentence. Her crafty lawyers were able to get her freed on the ground that she did not take part in the group’s controversial church protest, as she’d been thrown out of the cathedral before she could even open a guitar case.

Diaz-Jogeix also stated, “Today’s verdict is in line with the suppressive policies of the Russian authorities, stifling dissent in any form. For one stunt, clearly within their right to freedom of expression, the three punk singers had to endure months of humiliation and hardship in detention — something that continues for Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.”

Pussy Riot’s ordeal has attracted international attention for the past several months, especially from the music community. This appeal denial should further stoke the flames of those supporting the women.

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