Federal Penitentiary Service finds no violations in Mordovian colony where Tolokonnikova was held

posted 9 Dec 2013, 10:59 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 9 Dec 2013, 11:04 ]
4 December 2013

Source: HRO.org (info)
The Federal Penitentiary Service has found no violations in colony number 14 in Mordovia , where Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was serving her sentence. This was reported on 4th December on the website of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council.

According to Lenta.ru, the inspection by the Federal Penitentiary Service was initiated by members of the Human Rights Council, who visited the colony in September. The Penitentiary Service stressed that no violations of current legislation were found, but noted that the Human Rights Council’s observations will be used in practice to ensure the observance of human rights.

In September 2013, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova wrote an open letter in which she described as unbearable the conditions in the colony. In particular, she argued that the prisoners are forced to work 16 hours a day, work overtime, and are punished for not meeting production targets.

In response to this letter, the members of a commission of the Human Rights Council inspected the colony and noted the existence of "a well-established ‘voluntary-compulsory’ system for ensuring an uninterrupted working day of 12-16 hours."

At the same time, an inspection was carried out by the Ministry of Labour, which, in turn, stated that Tolokonnikova worked overtime exclusively at her own wish, and that for working during non-working days, she received additional days off.

Following the publication of her open letter, Tolokonnikova declared a hunger strike, demanding to be transferred to another colony. On November 14th the Federal Penitentiary Service officially announced that the Pussy Riot member was being transferred to Krasnoyarsk region.

Translated by Samuel Hancock