Maria Alyokhina is a political activist, artist and member of Pussy Riot collective. After 'Punk Prayer' - a Pussy Riot performance of the song 'Mother Mary, banish Putin' in Moscow Cathedral on 21 February 2012 she was convicted of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred', sentenced for two years' imprisonment and transported to a penal colony in the Urals, one of the hardest prison systems in the world. As a political prisoner she campaigned to improve the lives of her fellow inmates in the penal colony and continued her work as an activist and artist outside. She is a co-founder of the independent Russian media outlet MediaZona and actor with the Belarus Free Theatre.
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