Pussy Riot member's request to open case against prison official dismissed
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, October 24 (RAPSI) - Investigators have dismissed a request filed by convicted Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to initiate a case against the deputy warden of her Mordovian colony, Senior Executive Assistant of the regional Investigation Department of the Investigation Committee Natalya Afanasyeva told RIA Novosti Thursday.
Tolokonnikova declared a hunger strike on September 23 and requested the initiation of a criminal case against the deputy warden, who she alleged threatened her with murder. She also complained about the low wages earned by inmates. The Federal Penitentiary Service claimed that the hunger strike was initiated after her demands to be comfortably accommodated in prison were rejected. The Investigative Committee launched a probe into Tolokonnikova's allegations.
Tolokonnikova called off the strike on October, 1. She reportedly gave up her nine-day-long fast because of unspecified health problems.
On October 18, Tolokonnikova declared another hunger strike, and after a few days was moved to another prison.
In February 2012, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas staged a punk rock prayer in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. An edited video of their performance was posted on the Internet and caused a public outcry.
In August 2012, the Khamovnichesky District Court in Moscow sentenced Tolokonnikova and two other Pussy Riot members - Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich - to two years in a prison settlement for hooliganism.
In October 2012, the Moscow City Court changed Samutsevich's verdict to a suspended sentence and released her immediately based on her new attorneys' argument that she had been seized by security guards prior to reaching the altar.
The sentences of Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were upheld. Alyokhina was transferred last August to serve her prison term to Nizhny Novgorod region while Tolokonnikova remains in Mordovia.