MOSCOW, April 4 (RAPSI) – The Nizhny Novgorod prison №2 has filed a defamation lawsuit against Maria Alyokhina, a member of the infamous feminist punk group Pussy Riot, and Sobesednik newspaper, the spokesperson of Moscow’s Izmailovsky District Court Daria Kryzhanovskaya has told RAPSI.

The prison authorities accuse Alyokhina and the newspaper of defamation published in one of the articles in 2017. The article reportedly tells of inmates’ labor conditions in the Nizhny Novgorod female penal colony where the Pussy Riot member served her sentence. The plaintiff demands to recognize statements containing in the article contradicting the reality and discrediting the penitentiary facility.

The hearing has been set for May 15, according to Kryzhanovskaya.

Feminist punk group Pussy Riot became known in February 2012, when Alyokhina along with four other young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas staged a punk rock prayer in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. An edited video of their performance was posted on the Internet and caused a public outcry.

In August 2012, the Khamovnichesky District Court in Moscow sentenced Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to two years for hooliganism. In October 2012, the Moscow City Court changed Samutsevich's verdict to a suspended sentence and released her immediately based on her new attorneys' argument that she had been seized by security guards prior to reaching the altar. In December 2013, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were pardoned under the amnesty dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.