Paul McCartney has written an open letter of support for one of the jailed members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot. The former Beatle sent handwritten letters to officials in charge of the woman's case.

After her request to attend her own parole hearing was turned down by Russian officials, Maria Alyokhina announced she would be going on a hunger strike. McCartney wrote letters in support of both Alyokhina and her bandmate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who was denied parole last month, in hopes that the jailed women would be released after parole.

"My personal belief is that further incarceration for Maria will be harmful for her and the situation as a whole, which, of course, is being watched by people all over the world," McCartney wrote. “In the great tradition of fair-mindedness which the Russian people (many of whom are my friends) are famous for, I believe that you granting this request would send a very positive message to all the people who have followed this case."

This isn't the first time McCartney has shown his support for the women, who were sentenced last year to prison for what authorities claim was an unauthorized protest at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Three of the punk collective's members were arrested and charged with hooliganism. McCartney, like many of his fellow rock starsshowed his support for the women in August, while they were still awaiting trial.

Yesterday's letter also included support for Nadezhda. "I have had a long relationship with the Russian people, and, with this in mind, I am making the following request in a spirit of friendship for my many Russian acquaintances who, like me, believe in treating people -- all people, with compassion and kindness," McCartney wrote.