Pussy Riot Member Is Transferred to Hospital After Hunger Strike

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) --A jailed member of the female Russian punk group Pussy Riot was transferred to a hospital after going on hunger strike to protest what her lawyers said were death threats from a prison official.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was moved yesterday from a labor camp in the Mordovia region about 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of Moscow to a prison medical facility, according to a website statement by the Federal Prison Service.

Tolokonnikova, 23, was convicted of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred last August for performing a song critical of Vladimir Putin before last year’s presidential election inside Moscow’s Christ the Savior cathedral. The case spurred protests by freedom-of-speech advocates across Russia and abroad. Tolokonnikova is serving a two-year sentence. One member of the group was freed last October.

The Pussy Riot member should be taken to another penitentiary, because if something happens to her, “it will be very unpleasant for the prison administration,” Russia’s human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, said in comments published on the website of the presidential human rights commission.

Tolokonnikova’s defense team has filed a formal complaint with the regional head of the Investigative Committee, it said today on its Facebook page.

In an open letter, Tolokonnikova said that she was threatened by the deputy head of Penal Colony No. 14 after she complained that inmates are forced to work 17-hour days. The Federal Prison Service declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.