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Jailed Pussy Riot Member To Be Transferred

  • RFE/RL

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

At her request, jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is being transferred to another penal colony.

The announcement on October 18 by the FSIN, the Russian agency supervising the country's penitentiaries, comes hours after Tolokonnikova resumed a hunger strike in protest at the authorities' failure to relocate her.

The location of Tolokonnikova's new prison was not announced.

Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said earlier on October 18 that Tolokonnikova had resumed her hunger strike because demands she had put forward earlier had not been met.

Tolokonnikova was released from a hospital on October 17 after being admitted following a one-week hunger strike earlier this month.

She ended that hunger strike after authorities promised to meet her demands -- namely, an investigation into rights violations in her penal colony, the removal of "psychological pressure" on inmates in the colony who talked about penitentiary conditions to inspectors, and her transfer to another penitentiary.

Tolokonnikova started her initial hunger strike in late September to protest conditions at her prison and alleged death threats by a prison official. Her protest led to an inspection of the penal colony in Russia’s Republic of Mordovia, some 700 kilometers east of Moscow, where she is serving her two-year prison term.

In early October, experts from Russia's Presidential Council for Human Rights confirmed her complaints regarding lengthy work shifts, miserable payment for work, and the existence of illegal prison disciplinarian groups made up of inmates loyal to the administration.

Alyokhina Withdraws Leniency Plea

Meanwhile, in related news, another Pussy Riot member, Maria Alyokhina , has withdrawn a request for a more lenient sentence at a hearing in Nizhny Novgorod.

Alyokhina told the court on October 18 that she had "no moral right" to continue appealing her sentence while her fellow Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova could not appeal her jail term because she has been in a hospital following a hunger strike.

WATCH: Maria Alyokhina withdraws her appeal for leniency

Alyokhina said if Russian authorities agree to free her early it should be part of a broad amnesty that frees other convicted women with young children.

Alyokhina's statement will be attached to the court materials.

Alyokhina's lawyer, Irina Khrunova, had earlier requested Alyokhina's sentence be changed to a fine or community service.

Three Pussy Riot members, including Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were sentenced to two years in jail in August 2012 for "hooliganism" and "inciting religious hatred" following a protest against President Vladimir Putin's rule in a Moscow cathedral earlier the same year.

The third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was also convicted but received a suspended two-year sentence.

The sentences were condemned by Western governments and rights groups as disproportionate.


With reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and rapsinews.com
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