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Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Transfered To Siberia Colony

Where is Nadya?

 

This sad and revolting story doesn’t seem to end although the media are talking a bit less about it. And they shouldn’t as the condition of Pussy Riot’s band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova isn’t improving. First, I read a few days ago that she had gone missing and her husband hasn’t had any information about her for 2 weeks, then we are learning she is on her way to a new penal colony of Nizhny Ingash in Siberia. This isn’t good news.

‘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’ wrote her husband Pyotr Verzilov.

Recently, the courageous young woman went on a hunger strike to protest against the awful conditions inside the jail, that she described as ‘slave labor’ with ‘constant harassment by colony administration’. She had to stop as she put her health at great risk, and currently the only response that her husband could receive when inquiring about his wife was that she had being transferred. The only good news is that she is eating and in relative good health, but this transfer isolates her even more.

On Thursday, according to her lawyer, she asked Russia’s Supreme Court to throw out her conviction and prison sentence, but her lawyer isn’t even sure where she is as she hasn’t been able to contact Nadya for 3 weeks. Amnesty International has urged Russian authorities to provide her access to a lawyer.

Is it possible to understand how such a thing can still happen in 2013 Russia? What serious danger a 24 year-old woman in a feminist punk band can represent for Putin? What crime has she done? Singing an anti-Putin punk song in a church? And let’s be clear here, it has nothing to do with religion hatred from Pussy Riot’s members. Because precisely the protest did happen in a church, Putin got a lot of support from the Orthodox church (a poll found that 56% of Orthodox Christians in Russia horrifically thought the sentences were appropriate) and many took it as an attack against religion whereas it was meant to criticize these close ties between Putin and the church. I admire the fact Nadya always looks so strong and fierce on every picture! What a courageous young woman, even though she may look a bit more beaten-up after her stay in Siberia. If anything, this act of ‘hooliganism’ as it was qualified by Russia, demonstrates the power of punk music.

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