Pussy Riot Band Member Reportedly Sent to Siberia

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's husband says she has been moved 2,800 miles away from central Russia

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Ivan Sekretarev / AP

In this Thursday, April 19, 2012 photo, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of the female punk rocker band Pussy Riot stands in a defendants cage prior to a court hearing in Moscow, Russia.

Russian officials are moving a jailed member of female punk rock band Pussy Riot from a prison in central Russia to one in Siberia, her husband announced in a tweet Tuesday.

Pyotr Verzilov said sources tell him that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, is being relocated 2,800 miles and four time zones away from Moscow in the town Nizhny Ingash. Last month Verzilov announced his wife’s whereabouts were unknown, and he hadn’t heard from her. Russian prison officials responded that she was being transferred.

In September Tolokonnikova protested prison conditions through a hunger strike, which landed her in the hospital. She is currently serving a two-year term for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” following her band’s anti-Kremlin performance at Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral in February 2012. An appeal in April for Tolokonnikova’s early release was denied, and the band’s music and videos are banned in Russia.

Russia’s rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said he had been reassured the jailed musician had a doctor accompanying her for the journey.

“She is eating and they say her health is acceptable,” Lukin told Interfax. Russian authorities previously told Tolokonnikova’s family they would be notified of her new location within 10 days of her arrival.

[AFP]

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