Image for Missing Pussy Riot Member Found In Siberia

Missing Pussy Riot Member Found In Siberia

Written by Greg Moskovitch on November 14, 2013

Imprisoned Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova has reportedly been found in a Siberian penal colony, after the 23-year-old went missing following a prison transfer three weeks ago, which her husband says was done to silence Tolokonnikova’s criticism of the Russian prison system.

Rolling Stone reports that the Pussy Riot member is now in a penal colony in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia. Russia’s prison ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, confirmed Tolokonnikova’s Siberian transfer and told The Associated Press she wasn’t heard from because:

“After a transfer to another prison, inmates are quarantined for 10 days.”

Lukin also claimed that Tolokonnikova has ended her hunger strike, which she began in September to protest the brutal working conditions of Penal Colony 14, where she was being held. In an open letter, Tolokonnikova compared the conditions of Colony 14 to those of a Soviet-era gulag.

After suspending the strike due to the reported danger of “unrecoverable damage,” Tolokonnikova once again refused to eat after demanding the transfer to another prison. The activist is currently serving a two-year sentence for “premeditated hooliganism.”

Lukin claimed that Tolokonnikova will be allowed to meet with her husband and lawyers within the week, though refused to disclose the specifics of the prison in which she is being held. The Russian art group Voina tweeted that she is being held at Penal Colony 50 in Nizhny Ingash.

(Via Rolling Stone)

UPDATE: Daniel Sandford, Moscow Correspondent for BBC News, tweeted last night, “I just spoke to Pyotr Verzilov [Tolokonnikova’s husband] who confirmed Pussy Riot’s Nadia called him ..from a prison hospital in Krasnoyarsk,” confirming the Rolling Stone report.

Sandford followed-up the tweet, saying, “Nadia said she is fine, does not have tuberculosis, and is having tests following her hunger strike.” Meanwhile, Russian news site Slon reported that Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service confirmed she had been “enrolled” in a prison in Krasnoyarsk.

Slon also spoke with Verzilov, during which he revealed that he had spoken to Tolokonnikova over the phone and that, according to her, she feels “well enough” and is currently in a hospital in the centre of Krasnoyarsk, called “Regional Tuberculosis Hospital No. 1.”

According to Verzilov, Tolokonnikova is undergoing diagnostic tests including an MRI to assess her health since the hunger strike and that she “feels positively” about conditions in the hospital, also saying that Siberian prisons seem better than those in Mordovia.

Verzilov told Slon that the lack of communication was a result of his wife being placed in “isolation.” Tolokonnikova told him that she wasn’t beaten or hidden and “only in isolation,” corroborating what Russia’s prison ombudsman told the press.

Verzilov told the site that he would apply to see Tolokonnikova “tomorrow” but that with the amount of red tape in the way of processing such a request, he’s not sure how soon it will happen.

Join Music Feeds on Facebook

monitoring_string = "5ddc797c5ea15f4a20f5b456893873a5"