Jailed Pussy Riot member reveals life in Russia’s 'dead world' prison camps

Maria Alyokhina

A jailed member of feminist punk band Pussy Riot has revealed the life in her prison camp in the Ural Mountains, describing it as a bleak 'dead world'.

In an article appearing in the Russian magazine, The New Times, Maria Alyokhina, 24 complained of the monotony and strict rules of her first weeks in the camp, which she refers to as a "dead world" and an "anti-life" where prisoners feel "discarded".

"Everything around is grey. Even if something is another colour, all the same it has an element of gray. Everything: the buildings, food, the sky, words," Alyokhina said.

According to the Telegraph, she revealed that prison rules are learned by rote in a special room where a security camera ensures inmates do not fall asleep.

The principal topic of conversation among the women is parole: "Everything a prisoner does is to get a tick for early parole", Alyokhina explained.

According to the paper, she said that women are more likely to get parole if they visit the prayer room, despite the fact that Russia is a secular state.

Bonus points might also be gained by visiting the library and the psychologist, or contacting relatives, Alyokhina said.

"They don't need personalities. They need people who have got used to things," the report quoted her, as saying.

Alyokhina, 24, is serving a two-year sentence in Corrective Labour Colony in the Perm region for Pussy Riot's performance of an anti-Putin ''punk prayer'' in a Moscow cathedral.

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