2013-01-16 16:50:00

Pussy Riot member asks court for deferral of punishment

Perm, January 16, Interfax - Maria Alyokhina, a member of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot, who was convicted to two years in a penal colony, has asked for deferral of her punishment, saying she has a small child.

"This time [needed for raising the child] and this trauma [caused by the mother's absence] are irreversible," Alyokhina told the Berezniki City Court, Perm Territory.

Alyokhina said she took an active part in her son's education and took him to the kindergarten and playgroups.

"As far as I know, he misses me very much," she said.

When the prosecutor asked her if she had taken her son to rallies, Alyokhina said: "He has never been at public rallies in bad weather."

"My parents now have to care for my son. My mother has illnesses," Alyokhina said.

Speaking about the reprimands she was given in the penal colony, she said: "I disagree with all reprimands.

Alyokhina also complained that she was not given a lawyer in the commissions that discussed her reprimands and said she was subjected to psychological pressure by members of those commissions.

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. Three singers - Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich - were detained on hooliganism charges. The girls refused to plead guilty; they said it was a political action and they did not intend to offend believers.