Has Nadezhda Tolokonnikova been transferred to Chuvashia?

posted 25 Oct 2013, 11:56 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 25 Oct 2013, 12:01 ]
23 October 2013 

Source: HRO.org (info)
The imprisoned punk group member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is being transferred to Penal Colony No. 2, situated in the town of Alatyr in Chuvashia, according to Petr Verzilov, husband of the political prisoner. 

According to the Chuvashia Public Monitoring Committee, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has not yet arrived in the colony.

Verzilov, quoting his own sources, has stated that Tolokonnikova could be in one of three pre-trial detention centres; Saransk, Ruzayevka or Torbeyevo.

According to Petr Verzilov, on the evening of 21st October, Tolokonnikova was still in Penal Colony No. 14 in Potma, Mordovia, contrary to the statement released by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service attesting that she had left Mordovia that day. Verzilov additionally reported that at around 7pm, she left by car for Chuvashia, escorted by prison officers.

As reported by
Lenta.ru, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova had resumed her hunger strike several days earlier, on 18th October. She has demanded that she be transferred from Penal Colony No. 14, where she has been serving her sentence, to another colony. Tolokonnikova resumed her hunger strike after being taken from the prison hospital to her former colony No. 14, despite promises made by the Penitentiary Service to human rights defenders that she would be transferred to another institution. 

On 27th September, Tolokonnikova was hospitalised due to deterioration in her health caused by her hunger strike, which the activist had first announced on 23rd September. The same day her open letter was published, which described the unbearable conditions for detainees in Penal Colony No. 14. According to Tolokonnikova, prisoners were obliged to work 16 hours a day, and any misbehaviour or failure to fulfil quotas would result in various punishments, such as being banned from going to the toilet or eating, or being forced to stand in the freezing cold. In addition to this, Tolokonnikova complained about death threats she had received from the deputy manager of the colony, Yuri Kupriyanov, which led to her demand to be transferred to another institution.

Experts from the Presidential Council for Human Rights, following their visits to the penal colony, confirmed Tolokonnikova’s claims regarding the prisoners’ working conditions.

As in the Mordovian camp Penal Colony No. 14, in Penal Colony No. 2 in Alatyr prisoners work at producing clothing, as described on the colony’s website. In the new colony, Tolokonnikova will make uniforms for police (as in Penal Colony No. 14), prison officers and court bailiffs. The maximum number of prisoners held in Penal Colony No. 2 is 691. In 2009 the colony administration reported that the icon Our Lady of Kazan, painted by one of the prisoners, had started weeping tears of myrrh.