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Pussy Riot Hunger Striker Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Gets Own Jail Cell

September 24, 2013

UPI International Top News

Russian prison officials said they moved Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to her own cell after she complained of threats from prisoners, employees.

Tolokonnikova went on a hunger strike Monday after writing a letter to Russia's Investigative Committee saying she'd received death threats from fellow inmates and the prison's deputy head Yuri Kupriyanov, The Moscow Times reported Tuesday.

Gennady Morozov, head of the local public supervising committee told the Interfax news agency Tolokonnikova's complaint was being investigated and that the woman was placed in a single room not as a punishment, but as a reaction to the alleged threats.

Kupriyanov alleged Tolokonnikova's husband, Pyotr Verzilov, and her lawyer, Irina Krunova, tried to blackmail him into giving Tolokonnikova better treatment in prison by threatening to go public with the alleged threats.

Kupriyanov requested a criminal investigation be opened on corruption charges, Novaya Gazeta reported.

Whether Tolokonnikova ended her hunger strike as a result of the transfer was not reported.

Pussy Riot's Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaternia Samutsevich were sentenced to two years in prison last summer for hooliganism for participating in a "punk prayer" protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin at a cathedral in Moscow. Samutsevich's sentence was changed to a suspended sentence and she was released from jail in October 2012.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina have both been denied their requests for parole. Tolokonnikova is due to be released in March.

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Original headline: Pussy Riot member moved to single jail cell

Source: Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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