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Jailed Pussy Riot member declares hunger strike

By CNN Staff
updated 11:32 AM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
Members of female punk band 'Pussy Riot' sit behind the bars during a court hearing in Moscow on July 20, 2012.
Members of female punk band 'Pussy Riot' sit behind the bars during a court hearing in Moscow on July 20, 2012.

(CNN) -- A jailed member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot told a court she is on a hunger strike after being barred from attending a parole appeal hearing in person, Russian state news agency Ria Novosti reported Wednesday.

Maria Alyokhina was sentenced in August to two years in prison for performing a song critical of then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a prominent Orthodox cathedral last year.

Report: Russia clamping down on free speech

2012: Member of Pussy Riot released

Alyokhina, who was taking part in the Berezniki City Court proceedings via teleconference from the prison where she is incarcerated, also told her legal team to stop representing her, the news agency said.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, another band member, also received a two-year sentence in August for performing the song. Yekaterina Samutsevich, a third member of the band, was sentenced at the same time. But she was freed from prison last October.

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