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Russia Banishes Pussy Riot Member To Siberia For Remainder Of Sentence

By Rebecca Leber  

"Russia Banishes Pussy Riot Member To Siberia For Remainder Of Sentence"

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Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

CREDIT: AP

After two weeks of silence on the whereabouts of a jailed member of the anti-Putin feminist band Pussy Riot, Nadya Tolokonnikova’s family says they have discovered her transfer to a Siberia prison for the remaining months of her sentence. According to the AFP, a Russian human rights official explained she was isolated “in the interests of security.” But the transfer noticeably occurred after Tolokonnikova went on a hunger strike to protest her “slave labor” prison conditions.

Tolokonnikova’s husband Pyotr Verzilov last knew where she was on October 21, who received no explanation of where she went or why. Verzilov claimed that her new far removed location is a direct punishment for alleging abuse in a recent letter. “Essentially, she is transferred 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) from central Russia to the heart of Siberia as punishment for the resonance of her letter,” he said. Tolokonnikova’s father alleged in an interview with Buzzfeed the transfer was a direct response to the protests that have continued outside of the prison colony.

The treatment of political dissidents in a country not exactly known for its human rights record has been condemned from both Russia and the world — several U.S. Republican congressman being the exception to that rule, who once celebrated the feminist activists’ jailtime.

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