The Straits Times
Published on Jan 17, 2013

Pussy Riot member denied early release by court


MOSCOW (AFP) - A Russian court on Wednesday turned down a request by a jailed member of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot to defer serving her jail sentence until her five-year-old son is older.

"The court has ruled not to satisfy the petition," the judge said at Berezniki city court in the Perm region of the Urals, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, had asked the court to allow her not to serve the remainder of her two-year prison term - handed down for a stunt performance in a Moscow church in which the band denounced President Vladimir Putin - until her son Filipp is a teenager.

Under Russian law, a court can allow a woman convicted of a minor crime not to serve the sentence until her child turns 14. "I am really wishing for a small miracle and for there to be some real people in this court who show some humanity and think about children," Alyokhina told the court, quoted by the RAPSI legal news agency.