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 10:21 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
updated 9:15 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
updated 5:36 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
updated 2:35 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
updated 1:47 PM EST, Fri November 28, 2014
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
updated 7:59 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:54 PM EST, Fri November 28, 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