Saturday, November 22, 2014


Russia

Jailed Pussy Rioter Tolokonnikova Said Bound For Siberia

A supporter of Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova protesting outside the Federal Penitentiary Service building in Moscow on September 25.
A supporter of Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova protesting outside the Federal Penitentiary Service building in Moscow on September 25.

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Jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been transferred to a penal colony in remote Siberia, her husband says, citing a "reliable source."

Writing on Twitter on November 5, Pyotr Verzilov called his wife's transfer to a Siberian jail in the town of Nizhny Ingash, 4,500 kilometers from Moscow, retaliation by the authorities for her protests in her previous penitentiary.

Tolokonnikova went on a hunger strike in September to protest prison conditions and alleged death threats by officials at a penal colony in Russia's Republic of Mordovia.

Russia's ombudsman said on November 5 that he had been assured that Tolokonnikova was safe and on her way to a new penal colony.

Vladimir Lukin, the Russian presidential envoy for human rights, told Interfax that he has been informed by officials of the Russian agency that monitors the country's penitentiaries, the FSIN, that Tolokonnikova's state of health is "satisfactory" and that she is on her way to a new prison.

Lukin's statement came with Tolokonnikova supporters picketing FSIN headquarters in Moscow, demanding clear information on her whereabouts.

Tolokonnikova’s relatives had complained that they had not heard from her since she left her prison colony in Mordovia last month following demands to be transferred.

Tolokonnikova and another member of the politically charged punk-rock collective Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, are serving two-year sentences for a performance in a Moscow cathedral that criticized President Vladimir Putin.

Based on reporting by Interfax, AFP, Reuters, and RFE/RL's Russian Service

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