Pussy Riot member Alyokhina allowed to stay in secure cell for 90 more days

Convicted Pussy Riot punk band member Maria Alyokhina will remain in a secure cell at the penal colony 28 in the town of Berezniki for three more months, the press office of the general directorate of the Perm Region Federal Penitentiary Service said.

"The request to keep her in the secure cell came through the authorities and was signed. Thus, the girl will remain there for 90 more days," a penitentiary service employee told Interfax on Tuesday.

Alyokhina and her lawyer have written the request amid Alyokhina's concern for her safety among the general prison population, Alyokhina's relative told Interfax.

Pussy Riot band members performed an anti-Putin "punk prayer" at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on February 21, 2012. The performance and the trial caused a wide public reaction, both nationally and internationally.

The three Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina have been detained for hooliganism. The girls have refused to plead guilty saying that it was a political performance and they did not want to hurt believers' feelings.

On August 17, they were sentenced to two years in prison. Their lawyers appealed the sentences, arguing that the performance had not been criminal or hatred-motivated. On Oct. 10, the Moscow City Court upheld the sentences of Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina but released Samutsevich.

Tolokonnikova was sent to a penal colony in Mordovia, Alyokhina to the penal colony 28 in Berezniki in the Perm region.

On March 4, 2013, the Perm regional court will consider the cassation appeal on the ruling of the Berezniki municipal court, which declined Alyokhina's petition to defer her sentence due to the fact that she had a child.

In February, the Berezniki municipal court also considered the complaint of Alyokhina's lawyer on sanctions applied to her by the penal colony employees. The court ruled that two out of four sanctions were illegal.

Alyokhina's lawyer Oksana Darova has previously told Interfax she intended to have the other two sanctions cancelled as well.

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