A court in the town of Berezniki in the Urals mountains, some 1,200 kilometers northeast of Moscow, on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Pussy Riot protester Maria Alyokhina sentenced to two years in prison to be freed she could care for her small son. The court’s judge explained her verdict that having a child did not prevent Alyokhina from committing a crime.
The colony’s representatives believe that Alyokhina demonstrated no interest in her son while staying in prison, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily wrote. On Wednesday evening the court rejected her appeal.
Alyokhina’s release from colony was hampered by many reprimands she had received from prison authorities. She had repeatedly failed to respond a wakeup order and watched TV when the lights-out time started, the Kommersant business daily reported. During a court session the prosecutor added that Alyokhina’s release proved inexpedient as her parents care for her child and she, in fact, is a dependent person, as she had no job.
The band member’s lawyer Oksana Darova, said in turn that her defendant’s violations were not intentional and asked the court to consider Alyokhina’s positive record from the university where she had studied. The activist’s public supporter, journalist Alexander Podrabinek told the judge, “Everybody realizes that she is not a criminal and her crime is not related to violence, therefore she can be freed.”
Maria Alyokhina appealed to the court asking to allow her to serve out her sentence when her son was older, Novye Izvestiya wrote. She said she took an active part in bringing her child up – she took him to a kindergarten and many child development centres. “He misses me very much, he needs me,” Alyokhina said.
The prosecutor, in turn, doubted this fact and asked for arguments proving that she had taken her boy to development centres. “Her family situation had been properly taken into account during her trial,” the prosecutor said.
The newspaper recalled that there were cases in Russia’s judicial practice when those convicted managed to suspend their sentence even after they had committed more serious crimes. For instance, a daughter of the Irkutsk regional election committee’s chief, Anna Shavenkova, was sentenced to three years in colony with a respite until 2024 after she ran over two women while driving her car. One of the women died. The road accident recorded by a CCTV camera showed that after the accident Shavenkova inspected her car instead of helping those injured.