Jailed Pussy Riot Member Starts Hunger Strike

Nadezhda_Tolokonnikova_(Pussy_Riot)_at_the_Moscow_Tagansky_District_Court_-_Denis_Bochkarev

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has announced that she has begun a hunger strike to protest “slavery-like conditions” at the prison camp in the remote Russian region of Mordovia where she is incarcerated, the New York Times reports.

In the letter, which was published on the Lenta.ru news service, Tolokonnikova described beatings of inmates by other inmates on the face or kidneys. She said that she has not been beaten but wrote that they “never happen without the knowledge and sanction of the prison authorities.”

She wrote that the prisoners in her sewing division must work 16 or 17 hours a day. “In the best case scenario we get four hours of sleep per night,” she wrote. “We get a day off once every six weeks. Almost all Sundays are work days. Prisoners are forced to write requests to work on weekends saying it is their own voluntary decision.”

Explaining her motivation for the hunger strike, she wrote, “I refuse to participate in slave labor at the camp until the penal colony authorities begin to work under the law and treat women inmates as people rather than cattle.”

For more on this story, go to the New York Times or The Guardian.

 

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