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Jailed Pussy Riot Activist Ends Prison Hunger Strike


Jailed Pussy Riot punk rock group member Maria Alyokhina appears on a monitor during a video conference from the penal colony for a parole hearing on May 22, when she announced the launch of her hunger strike.

Jailed Pussy Riot punk rock group member Maria Alyokhina appears on a monitor during a video conference from the penal colony for a parole hearing on May 22, when she announced the launch of her hunger strike.

A jailed member of the feminist performance art protest group Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, has reportedly ended her hunger strike after 11 days.

Pyotr Verzilov, a Pussy Riot collaborator and husband of another jailed group member, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, said on June 1 that Alyokhina ended her protest fast after prison officials met her demands.

He said prison administrators took her on a special tour of Berezniki’s Prison Colony Number 28 to show her that draconian security rules on the whole facility had been lifted.

Alyokhina was sent to a prison hospital on the seventh day of her hunger strike.

Irina Khrunova, one of Alyokhina's lawyers, says authorities have tried to intimidate her client by placing her with hardened criminals.

Alyokhina announced her hunger strike via video link during a parole hearing on May 22 after a court rejected her requests to be physically present for the hearing and to have the judge and the prosecutor replaced.

Lawyer Khrunova said she would appeal that court's ruling one day later that denied Alyokhina parole.

The politically charged case has sparked protests in Russia and criticism from Western governments and rights groups.

The Pussy Riot protest that led to the convictions criticized Vladimir Putin and his cozy relations with the Russian Orthodox Church's leadership.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, RFE/RL, and Interfax
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