Russian authorities refuse to investigate alleged threat against Pussy Riot member

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova recently moved to another prison after being hospitalised while on hunger strike

Russian authorities refuse to investigate alleged threat against Pussy Riot member

Photo: PA

Russian authorities have refused to investigate the alleged threat made against jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova by the deputy head of the prison she was incarcerated in until recently.

The local Mordovia division of country's Investigative Committee said they had discovered no evidence of any wrong-doing, reports Billboard. Tolokonnikova was recently moved to a prison in Alatyr in the Volga region of Chuvashiya "for her personal safety."

In an open letter, Tolokonnikova wrote that on August 30 she asked Lieutenant Colonel Kupriyanov to let her and her fellow prisoners have eight hours of sleep. She said he then threatened her after making the request. She commented: "We were discussing decreasing the workday from 16 to 12 hours. "Fine, starting Monday, the brigade will only work for eight hours at a time," he replied. I knew this was another trap because it is physically impossible to fulfill the increased quota in 8 hours. Thus, the brigade will not have time and subsequently face punishment. "If anyone finds out that you're the one behind this, you'll never complain again," the Lieutenant Colonel continued. "After all, there's nothing to complain about in the afterlife."

Tolokonnikova recently had to suspended her nine-day hunger strike, which she began to campaign against the alleged inhumane working conditions she says she had been forced to endure at Russia's Penal Colony No 14. In a statement released to NME, she said: "I am not calling off my hunger strike, I am temporarily suspending it because of my physical condition is now very bad and there are the beginnings of health complications."

Following this, Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina dropped her plea to be released from jail early. Alyokhina said that she made the decision as a mark of support for Tolokonnikova. "I have no moral right to take part in this court hearing at a time when my friend and fellow convict Nadezhda Tolokonnikova does not have such an opportunity," said Alyokhina during a court hearing. "It is extremely strange and disgusting to me that a convict in Russia is no more than the profit-making property of the authorities. I declare my protest against this, and I declare this protest from the inside, from this pit they are pushing us all into."

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina 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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