MOSCOW -- One of the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot has been moved into a solitary cell following tensions with other inmates, Russian prison officials said Friday.
Stanislav Volegov, a spokesman for the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Perm region in the Ural Mountains where Maria Alekhina is serving her sentence, said on Rain TV that she was moved into a "safe" cell on Wednesday at her own request.
He didn't spell out the reasons behind the move, but other prison officials said, according to Russian news wires, that Alekhina made the request because of her perception that fellow prisoners had a negative attitude to her.
Alekhina and two other band members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were sentenced in August to two years in prison on hooliganism charges for performing a "punk prayer" at Moscow's main cathedral, pleading with Virgin Mary for the deliverance from President Vladimir Putin.
Samutsevich was released on appeal, but Tolokonnikova and Alekhina were sent to prison camps to serve their sentences despite international outrage.
The online Lifenews.ru claimed that Alekhina's inmates threatened her with violence after a heated argument over religion. Prison officials wouldn't confirm that claim, and Alekhina's lawyer, Irina Khrunova, couldn't be reached for comment.
The 24-year old Alekhina, a poet and environmentalist, is the mother of a five-year old boy.