Skip to main content

'Missing' Pussy Riot inmate Tolokonnikova in Siberian prison

By Alla Eshchenko and Susannah Cullinane, CNN
updated 12:04 PM EST, Fri November 15, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was jailed in Russia last year for her part in a "punk prayer"
  • In September, the Pussy Riot band member went on hunger strike over prison conditions
  • In October, she was transferred and her family was not informed of her new location
  • Her husband said Friday that he had spoken to her at a Siberian prison where she is now held

(CNN) -- Russian authorities have revealed the whereabouts of a convicted Pussy Riot punk rock band member, three weeks after she was moved from a prison where she went on hunger strike over its conditions.

On November 2, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's husband, Pyotr Verzilov, said his wife had not been heard from since she was transferred from a prison in Mordovia, more than 300 miles east of Moscow on October 24 or 25.

Under law, authorities had to inform her family about her transfer within 10 days of her arrival at a different penal colony.

Pussy Riot documentary director on band
Pussy Riot family speaks out
The city of Krasnoyarsk is 3,400 km east of Moscow

On Thursday, Russia's prison service confirmed that Tolokonnikova, 24, had been moved to a prison in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia and that her relatives had been informed.

Verzilov told CNN Friday that he had spoken to his wife, who was being examined in a hospital after her transfer. Tolokonnikova felt OK and was happy with staff at the hospital, he said.

He was in Krasnoyarsk and hoped to see her at the beginning of next week.

Tolokonnikova was sent to Mordovia last year for her part in a performance of a "punk prayer" critical of Vladimir Putin, who was then Russia's Prime Minister and is now the country's President. The performance was held at a Russian Orthodox cathedral.

Found guilty of "hooliganism," the musician was sentenced to two years in a penal colony.

With less than six months left on her sentence, she began a hunger strike on September 23, declaring the conditions at the Mordovia prison to be intolerable.

Opinion: Why is Putin scared of Tolokonnikova?

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:16 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT