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No News About Pussy Riot Member’s Whereabouts

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Posted on Nov 4, 2013
(AP/Mikhail Metzel)

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova behind bars after being arrested in connection with an anti-Putin protest performance.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of the feminist punk band arrested last year after an outspoken performance, has been kept “out of sight” since she was moved from a penal colony in Mordovia, Russia, to an unknown location. Before her transfer, Tolokonnikova had been on a hunger strike in September in protest of the horrid conditions experienced in Russian prisons. In a letter that detailed the brutality and “slave labor” the musician was enduring in Mordovia’s Penal Colony 14, Tolokonnikova denounced the prison administration’s attempts to stifle free speech, starving herself until “they start treating us like humans.” The letter succeeded in garnering attention from human rights organizations as well as the Russian government. And yet, it seems that rather than inspire more humane treatment, Tolokonnikova’s protest has led to her disappearance.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

BBC News:
The husband of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova told a US news website he had not received any news about her and her current location was being kept secret….

Her husband said he last knew her precise whereabouts on 21 October, when guards put her on a train en route to a different prison.

She was seen on 24 October by a fellow passenger as the train arrived in the city of Chelyabinsk, in the Ural mountains.

Her husband, Pyotr Verzilov, told the Buzzfeed website he believed the decision to move his wife came from the authorities in Moscow: “They want to cut her off from the outside world.”

He said Ms Tolokonnikova was still weak after two hunger strikes, and accused the authorities of trying to punish her because of her protests.

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