Report: Pussy Riot member asks for solitary confinement

Updated 5:25 AM EST, Fri November 23, 2012

Story highlights

Maria Alyokhina and another punk band member were sentenced in August

They are serving their two-year prison sentences in a penal colony far from Moscow

Alyokhina has requested solitary confinement, Russia's state news agency reports

It cites prison officials as saying she has "strained relations" with other inmates

(CNN) —  

One of the members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot serving a two-year prison sentence has asked to be transferred to solitary confinement because of “strained relations” with other inmates, state media reported Friday.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, and fellow band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, were sentenced in August for performing a song critical of President Vladimir Putin in one of the Russian Orthodox Church’s most important cathedrals in February.

They are serving their sentences at a penal colony in Perm, about 1,000 kilometers (700 miles) east of Moscow.

The state-run news agency Ria Novosti cited unidentified prison officials as saying that Alyokhina had made the transfer request. The agency noted that Alyokhina, a vegan, had previously complained about the meat-based diet at the prison colony.

Yekaterina Samutsevich, a third member of the band who was sentenced with Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, was freed from prison last month.

Following her release on a suspended sentence, Samutsevich vowed to continue the kind of political protest act that led to their imprisonment.

Footage of the brief but provocative protest action attracted worldwide attention after it was posted online.

It showed the band members, their faces shrouded by balaclavas, screaming “Mother Mary, please drive Putin away” inside Christ Savior Cathedral in Moscow, outraging many of the Russia church’s faithful

The three women, who were arrested shortly after the protest act, were convicted of hooliganism. Two other members of the all-female group have fled Russia.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina are expected to try to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.