Pussy Riot member to spend rest of jail sentence in hospital

Pussy Riot member to spend rest of jail sentence in hospital
Pussy Riot. Photograph: Igor Mukhin under a CC licence

13 December 2013

A jailed member of punk band Pussy Riot will remain in hospital until the end of her prison sentence in March, according to press reports, with permission to leave later this month to perform for inmates at several penal institutions in the area. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was moved to a hospital in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk last month following a hunger strike that left her with undisclosed health problems. Tolokonnikova went on huger strike to protest conditions at the prison colony in the Russian Republic of Mordovia where she had been jailed, which included 17-hour working days and no rest on weekends.

Speaking on Russian news channel Rain TV today, her lawyer Irina Khrunova said that Tolokonnikova had been given permission to perform at several nearby prisons with the hospital band. “They will give New Year’s concerts,” she said.

In August 2012, Tolokonnikova and two other members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were sentenced to two years in prison on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for performing an anti-Kremlin “punk prayer” in a Moscow cathedral. Samutsevich was later released on appeal on a suspended sentence. This month Russia’s Supreme Court criticised the verdict, arguing that greater leniency should have been exercised because both Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina are mothers with young children. The ruling, published last week, added that the lower court did not provide sufficient evidence for a guilty verdict.

Source: RIA Novosti, Rferl