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Moscow court refuses prison officials’ request to jail Pussy Riot activist Maria Alyokhina

Source: TASS

A Moscow court has refused to satisfy a request from prison officials to transfer Pussy Riot activist Maria Alyokhina from house arrest to a pre-trial detention center.

On Thursday, July 29, a representative of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) asked the Preobrazhensky District Court to change the preventive measures against Alyokhina in connection with the so-called “Sanitary Case” from house arrest to detention.

“In [their] opinion, my client violated the terms of house arrest when she went to the pharmacy and the doctor,” Alyokhina’s lawyer Daniil Berman told state news agency TASS.

The FSIN’s representative had the support of the prosecutor’s office, but the court refused to change the preventive measures against Alyokhina.

State investigators launched the “Sanitary Case” in January 2021, pressing criminal charges against ten well-known activists and politicians associated with Alexey Navalny for allegedly violating pandemic regulations. According to the investigation, the defendants in the case called for people to attend a pro-Navalny demonstration, thereby provoking violations of sanitary and epidemiological rules.

In addition to Maria Alyokhina, there are currently eight other defendants in the “Sanitary Case” — opposition politician Lyubov Sobol, Doctors’ Alliance director Anastasia Vasilieva, Navalny’s brother Oleg Navalny, his press secretary Kira Yarmysh, Navalny staffers Oleg Stepanov and Nikolai Lyaskin, and municipal deputies Dmitry Baranovsky and Lyusya Shtein (who is also a Pussy Riot member). 

On July 28, prosecutors in the “Sanitary Case” demanded two years of restricted freedom (a parole-like sentence) for Lyubov Sobol.

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