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Russian-Canadian Pussy Riot member treated in Berlin for suspected poisoning

Last Updated Sep 16, 2018 at 4:20 pm EST

FILE In this file photo taken on Monday, July 23, 2018, Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the feminist protest group Pussy Riot, gestures during hearings in a court in Moscow, Russia. Russian news reports say Verzilov a member of Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot has been hospitalized in grave condition for what could be a possible poisoning. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

BERLIN – A Russian-Canadian member of the protest group Pussy Riot is being treated in Berlin after falling severely ill, with fellow activists alleging he was poisoned.

Pyotr Verzilov was flown to the German capital late Saturday.

Verzilov was first hospitalized in Moscow on Tuesday and had remained in intensive care, Pussy Riot members said this week.

Maria Alekhina, a member of the group, told The Associated Press that he regained consciousness Friday.

Verzilov, his partner Veronika Nikulshina and two other Pussy Riot members served 15-day jail sentences for running onto field in Moscow where soccer’s World Cup final was being played in July.

A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the ministry is monitoring the situation closely.

“Canada is concerned by the situation of Canadian citizen Pyotr Verzilov,” Adam Austen said Sunday in an email.

“Minister Freeland has spoken to his family. And officials stand ready to provide consular assistance to Mr. Verzilov and his family,” Austen said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said consular officials are “engaged with this situation,” but that it was too early to draw conclusions about how Verzilov had fallen ill.

A spokesman for the prime minister said Sunday that Trudeau’s position remained unchanged.