Masha Alyokhina has withdrawn her plea for an early release in a show of Nadia who is in hospital after going on hunger strike to protest over prison conditions.

Alyokhina and Nadia Tolokonnikova are serving two-year sentences for what critics termed a profanity-laden protest against Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral.

"I do not have any moral right to take part in this court hearing at a time when my friend and fellow convict Nadezhda Tolokonnikova does not have such opportunity," Alyokhina told the court in Nizhny Novgorod. "She is currently in hospital or back in that same prison which we have heard horrible things about."

Tolokonnikova was admitted to a prison hospital last month after going on a hunger strike to protest against what she called "slave labour" at Corrective Colony No 14 in the Mordovia region, south-east of Moscow, where she is serving her sentence.

TV Rain reports that Nadia has been forcefully removed from the prison hospital and sent back to IR 14

Nadia has resumed her hunger strike.