2 Aug 2012

Woman unwell during trial

12:47 pm on 2 August 2012

The third day of the trial in Moscow of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot has been overshadowed by concerns over the health of one of the woman.

The court has been sitting for 11 hours each day and the defendants complain that they are not getting enough food or sleep.

Medics were called when the women said they felt unwell on Wednesday. Defense lawyer Nikolay Polozov says one was given treatment in court.

The defendants say they are being deprived of sleep and are poorly fed.

Mr Polozov told Russian media that proceedings were interrupted for several hours to allow Ms Alekhina to be given treatment after a fall in her blood sugar levels.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Mariya Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were taken into custody in February after performing a protest song against President Vladimir Putin at a cathedral in Moscow.

The song outraged the Russian Orthodox Church, which accused them of blasphemy.

The women are facing a charge of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility and could face up to seven years in prison.

At the start of their trial on Monday, the three pleaded not guilty, but apologised for the offence their performance had caused.

The BBC reports the case has divided Russia.