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Pussy Riot member advocacy demands to check penal colony in Mordovia

September 25, 2013, 12:37 UTC+3

Dmitry Dinze submitted a claim to Prosecutor General’s Office concerning women's rights violation in Mordovia's penal colony where Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is serving her sentence

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, September 25. (Itar-Tass). – Advocacy of Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, convicted for hooliganism addressed the Prosecutor General’s Office demanding to make a comprehensive enquiry in Mordovia’s penal colony #14 concerning women’s rights violation.

“Today attorney Dmitry Dinze submitted a claim to Prosecutor General’s Office, in which we ask to make an enquiry in the penal colony with participation of experts from the labor inspection in sanitary surveillance and specialists from EMERCOM in fire prevention,” spokesperson for Inter-regional Association of Human Rights Organizations "Agora", representing rights of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, told Itar-Tass.

In his claim, the attorney points to serious violation of convicts’ rights in production output norms by the colony’s administration. In particular, according to the attorney’s data, certain convicts ‘work 16 hours a day, sometimes without any off days in a week; everything depends on the administration’s will, which practically forces the convicts into invariable ‘slave’ labor above the norms provided by labor legislation.” This, as noted by Dinze in his claim, affects the general well-being and health condition of the convicts.

“If a convict receives a work injury, the administration draws up a document that he is guilty of unsafe practices, and even puts him into a punitive isolation ward,” the claim reads. In addition, the advocacy points to violations in the production, as well as in the housing area of the colony, fire safety, sanitation and hygiene standards, illegal system of selectable application of punishments and motivation by the administration and malnutrition.

“High concentration water is found in 30% of courses. Lately, in the colony are delivered food products unfit for consumption, many of the courses smell like mould, contain much water, the food doesn’t contain sufficient nutrients.”

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Pussy Riot member currently serving time in a penal colony, has complained about threat to her life, reportedly due to refusal to transfer her to another detachment, and announced a hunger strike on September 23.

In August, Defendants of the Pussy Riot punk bank requested changing the sentence for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina to penal labor instead of penal colony.

On August 17, 2012, Moscow’s Khamovniki court sentenced three members of Pussy Riot - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich - to two years in a prison colony on charges of hooliganism aimed at inciting religious hatred after their punk prayer in Moscow’s Christ Savior Cathedral. On October 10, 2012, the third woman was released on appeal.

The sentence for other two members of the band remained unchanged. Alyokhina is serving her sentence in Nizhny Novgorod Region and Tolokonnikova - in the Republic of Mordovia.

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