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Pussy Riot Members Lose Appeal To Remain In Moscow Prison

October 16, 2012

Two members of the Russian punk performance-art group Pussy Riot have lost their appeal to stay in a Moscow pretrial detention center.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Maria Alyokhina, 24, are now set to be transferred to a penal colony outside the capital, where conditions are much tougher.

The nearest penal colony is located about 100 kilometers from Moscow.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina wanted to complete their two-year sentence at the detention center where they are currently being held.

Both have small children and their lawyers argue that a transfer to a penal colony outside Moscow will complicate their contacts with their families.

The two women were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" in August after staging a performance critical of President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's largest Orthodox cathedral.

A third defendant, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on probation last week.

Based on reporting by Reuters and


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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