Jailed Russian punk rock band member suffering headaches, fatigue: bandmate

Fri Feb 1, 2013 1:09am EST
 

By Steve Gutterman

MOSCOW (Reuters) - One of the jailed members of Russian punk protest collective Pussy Riot has been moved to a prison with a hospital after suffering headaches and fatigue, her bandmate said in remarks broadcast on Friday.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, was one of three women sentenced to two years in prison for a "punk prayer" in Russia's main cathedral last February in which they called on the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Vladimir Putin.

Tolokonnikova was sent to a Corrective Colony No. 14 in the Mordovia region after losing her appeal in October.

"She has been complaining about her health for a long time, and a decision was taken to move her to a neighboring (prison) colony where there is a hospital," her bandmate Yekaterina Samutsevich told Internet and cable channel Dozhd.

She said Tolokonnikova had suffered headaches for months and was exhausted from labor at the prison, where she reportedly has been working at a sewing machine. She said she had been moved to the other prison several days ago.

"The problem is, they don't let her rest after the shift," said Samutsevich. "After the shift, they give them more tasks, and she is just working round the clock. She complains of fatigue, huge fatigue."

Samutsevich said she believed Tolokonnikova was being monitored but not actively treated, and she did not specify whether she was hospitalized at all times. Prison authorities could not immediately be reached.

Tolokonnikova, Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for their protest in Moscow's Christ the Saviour cathedral, which the dominant Russian Orthodox Church cast as part of a coordinated attack.   Continued...

 
Members of the female punk band "Pussy Riot" (R-L) Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow, August 17, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin