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Member of Russian punk band ‘Pussy Riot’ is reported missing after unexpected prison transfer

A jailed member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot has disappeared after being transported from a prison 10 days ago, according to her family.

Nadya Tolokonnikova’s family has reported that she was last heard from October 21, when she was unexpectedly taken from her prison cell in the Russian Republic of Mordovia and moved with no explanation from Russian officials.

“No one knows anything,” her father Andrei Tolokonnikova said. “There’s no proof she’s alive, we don’t know the state of her health. Is she sick? Has she been beaten?”

In a protest against poor prison conditions, Tolokonnikova, who is 23 years-old, launched a hunger strike and also penned an “open letter” denouncing the “slave-like” work conditions at the prison colony she was housed at.

Her husband and a group of supporters regularly protested outside the prison’s walls, causing tension with prison officials. “We think they moved her to a big city to hide her,” Tolokonnikova’s father said. “It seems they got sick of these protests.”

Her husband Petya Verzilov told Buzzfeed that he believes the decision to move her came directly from Moscow. “They want to cut her off from the outside world,” he said.

Miram Elder of Buzzfeed writes:

Tolokonnikova was moved by train from the Mordovia prison colony and was spotted by a fellow passenger as the train pulled into the city of Chelyabinsk, in the Ural mountains, on Oct. 24, Verzilov said. His sources told him she was kept there overnight. Nothing has been heard of Tolokonnikova since. Prison authorities had promised to inform her family of her whereabouts 10 days after she was moved, Verzilov and Tolokonnikov said.

Tolokonnikova and fellow band member Marla Alyokhina are set to be released in March after serving a two year sentence for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” stemming from a protest the group staged at a church.

Watch Pussy Riot’s church protest against Vladimir Putin in the video below:

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dave

    November 5, 2013 at 12:48 am

    She’s gone. I have a friend in Vladivostok and he talks about how “prison transfers” are code for the gulag, yes it still exists and seldom does anyone return. She is the cute one too.

  2. Pingback: Adam Kokesh Guilty, Out of Jail ‹ Peace News Now

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