Pussy Riot member moved to Siberian prison colony as 'punishment', husband says

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is being moved to a prison four time zones and 2,000 miles from her family in Moscow

PA
Photo: PA
One of the jailed members of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, is being moved to a remote prison colony in Siberia, according her relatives.

Tolokonnikova's husband, Petya Verzilov, said he had received reliable information that she was being moved to a prison in the Krasnoyarsk region, four time zones and 2,000 miles from her family in Moscow. While details of the exact prison are not yet known, Verzilov says indications suggest it could be Prison No 50 in Nizhny Ingash, 200 miles from the regional centre of Krasnoyarsk.

According to The Guardian, Verzilov said the move was punishment for the Pussy Riot member's public complaints about her treatment in prison and the Russian authorities' desire to remove her from the global media spotlight. "They do not have the ability to put on the usual psychological or physical pressure they can use with inmates because of the high profile of the case," he said. "So they have chosen this as the punishment instead."

Earlier this week, Russian authorities confirmed that Tolokonnikova has been transferred to a new prison, after her family initially thought she was missing following her sudden removal from the penal colony where she was being detained.

Tolokonnikova recently had to suspend 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."

Russian authorities then refused to investigate the alleged threat made against jailed Pussy Riot member 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 wrongdoing.

Tolokonnikova and Maria 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 Saviour in Moscow in February 2012.

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