Letter of Maria Alyekhina from prison

This letter was given to Masha's friends by one of her lawyers, Nikolay Polozov. It was written back when she didn't have an opportunity to pass letters to anyone. She was transferred to a more desnely-populated prison cell after.

March 12, 2012

Second day of pre-trial detention.

My only cell-mate Nina and I sleep on metal beds in outdoor clothes. She sleeps in a fur coat, I sleep in a coat.
It's so cold in the cell our noses get red and our feet are ice cold, but we are not allowed to get into bed under the covers before the bedtime bell. The holes in the window frames are stuffed in with hygiene pads and bread crumbs, the sky is all orange from the street lamps at night.

I've officially stopped my hunger strike so I now drink warm coloured water (tea) and eat dry bread three times a day. The metal bed tables are terrifying, it seems it's easy to smash your head against the edges.

Nina keeps saying that it won't get any worse. She's 55. She got detained for burglary. A drunken policeman took all her stuff and forced her to sign the report incriminating her, she never got to read what she signed. Now she's a thief in a mask. She's one of Pussy Riot too.

Nina told me her cell-mate before me was Vika. She got handcuffed and raped in a police station, despite being pregnant. She was only brought to the doctor a day after. The doctor did not diagnose either miscarriage or rape. Vika is incriminated with burglary of an unidentified person, that's what the report says. She's also a thief in a mask.

And yes, she's one of Pussy Riot too.

I still can't sleep. I got threatened to be transferred to a disciplinary cell for not making up my bed properly today. Here, in pre-trial centre, no one knows what a duvet case is, just like in Europe. But everybody knows that you're a criminal and here for a 'good reason'.

Nina keeps saying it won't get any worse.

We talk about Orwell, Kafka and the governmental structure. We curse injustice, but despite my encouraging quotes from Foucault Nina doesn't believe in changes. She keeps saying "This might be it, but i won't leave'.

As long as the doctor of the pre-trial detention proudly says he's been to Bolotnaya opposition protest, a woman in the uniform that takes my fingerprints believes in the revolution, though finding the peacefulness of it pointless — as long as all those that write about me, help me and feel happy about the changes — I won't leave.

Today is the first day I've been able to go for a walk properly. While on a walk in a tiny square yard in between concrete walls and a rusty metal bars on the ceiling I ran for 20 minutes.

It is not allowed to receive any books at the pre-trial detention No 6, the only book that's allowed is the Bible, which my mum passed me this morning, I still haven't got it.

It seems like it really won't get any worse.

Original in Russian: http://echo.msk.ru/blog/alekhina/871468-echo/

Original of translation: http://freepussyriot.org/content/translated-letter-maria-alyekhina-prison

Free Pussy Riot! http://freepussyriot.org/

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