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Tolokonnikova Calls 'Safe Cell' Solitary Confinement


Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (right) is escorted from a court hearing of the Supreme Court of Mordovia in late July.

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (right) is escorted from a court hearing of the Supreme Court of Mordovia in late July.

A jailed member of the Pussy Riot feminist performance-art group in Russia says she has been moved to an chilly isolation cell after announcing her decision to start a hunger strike.

In a statement made public late on September 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova says her cell, normally used for solitary confinement, has a temperature of 12 to 14 degrees Celsius.

Russia's federal agency supervising penitentiaries said earlier the same day that Tolokonnikova had been placed in a "safe cell" with "comfortable conditions" in the jail, in the central republic of Mordovia.

Tolokonnikova says she began her hunger strike on September 23 to protest the alleged abuse of inmates' rights and threats to kill her by prison guards and other inmates.

Tolokonnikova and fellow Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina are serving two-year prison sentences for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" in connection with a protest performance lambasting President Vladimir Putin in an Orthodox cathedral in February 2012.

Based on reporting by lenta.ru and AFP
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