In response to Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina’s recent announcement of a hunger strike last Wednesday, Paul McCartney has written a handwritten letter to Russian officials in Berezniki, asking them to consider the repercussions of not allowing Alyokhina and fellow bandmate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova access to their parole meetings.
McCartney has voiced support for the Moscow feminist punk-collective in the past, and the plea reads as follows:
My personal belief is that further incarceration for Maria will be harmful for her and the situation as a whole, which, of course, is being watched by people all over the world.
In the great tradition of fair-mindedness which the Russian people (many of whom are my friends) are famous for, I believe that you granting this request would send a very positive message to all the people who have followed this case.
Alyokhina was arrested with two of her fellow bandmates, Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” last August and sentenced to a two year sentence with no bail. Samutsevich has since been released on probation. The court in Perm officially denied Alyokhina’s parole in the meeting on Thursday, despite McCartney and countless others’ support for her release.