'Inconvenient' Pussy Riot member changing prison: lawyer

Jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina. Photo / AP
Jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina. Photo / AP

A member of Russian punk group Pussy Riot is being transferred from the penal colony where she is being held because she has become a headache for jail authorities, her lawyer said Friday.

Maria Alyokhina, 25, has been serving out her two-year term for hooliganism in the Berezniki penal colony in the Urals.

She told her lawyer Oksana Darova that she is being transferred, and her lawyer suspects the transfer to be permanent.

A prison spokesperson said the move was so she could attend a court hearing, but added that he didn't know whether Alyokhina would be coming back.

"She may be taken to Nizhny Novgorod (region)" for the rest of her sentence, lawyer Darova told AFP.

"She is inconvenient for the colony administration and they have talked about moving her out for a long time... She is not silent, she talks when she sees inmates' rights being violated, and the administration is tired of her," she added.

In May, Alyokhina was denied parole and went on hunger strike over a court refusal to allow her to be present for the hearing, as well as over alleged mistreatment of inmates who associated with her.

A spokesman for the regional prison service in Perm, Stanislav Volegov, confirmed that Alyokhina was being moved Friday, but insisted it was to prepare for a court session in Perm on July 24.

"There have been no problems" in Berezniki, the official said.

Alyokhina was among the members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot who was convicted of hooliganism over the band's short performance in a Moscow cathedral protesting President Vladimir Putin's close links with the Russian Orthodox Church ahead of his election to a third presidential term last year.

- AFP

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