September 30, 2013 12:50

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova hospitalised after hunger strike, says husband

Pyotr Verzilov says his wife was hospitalised on seventh day of hunger protest

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova hospitalised after hunger strike, says husband

Photo: PA

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been hospitalised after going on hunger strike, her husband has claimed.

According to Billboard, Pyotr Verzilov told the Interfax news agency that his wife had been moved to a prison hospital – a move which he described as a positive step – on the seventh day of her protest against the alleged inhumane working conditions she had been forced to endure.

Tolokonnikova had detailed the reasons behind her hunger strike in an open letter published by the Guardian last week (September 23), in which she wrote: "This is an extreme method, but I am convinced that it is my only way out of my current situation."

Describing the conditions, she had said that prisoners got "four hours of sleep a night. We have a day off once every month and a half. We work almost every Sunday." She also said that "the hygienic and residential conditions of the camp are calculated to make the prisoner feel like a filthy animal without any rights."

She insisted she would continue with her hunger strike "until the administration starts obeying the law and stops treating incarcerated women like cattle ejected from the realm of justice for the purpose of stoking the production of the sewing industry; until they start treating us like humans." Read the full letter here.

Amnesty International have subsequently called on the Russian authorities to investigate the conditions within the prison camp. Tolokonnikova and fellow jailed Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina both had appeals for parole rejected earlier this year. They are both serving two-year sentences for breach of public order motivated by religious hatred. The sentences were handed to them in August 2012 after the band performed their now infamous 'punk prayer' protest against President Vladimir Putin at the Cathedral of Christ The Savior in Moscow in February 2012.

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