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Tolokonnikova’s hunger strike is staged by third parties, HRC member’s report says

October 01, 2013, 13:15 UTC+3
The report contains a recommendation to carry out a health examination of the convict
Material has 1 page
HRC member Yelena Masyuk, Photo ITAR-TASS/Boris Kavashkin

HRC member Yelena Masyuk, Photo ITAR-TASS/Boris Kavashkin

MOSCOW, October 1. (Itar-Tass). – The hunger strike announced by convicted Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been staged by third parties, according to the report drawn up by member of Presidential Council for Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights (HRC) Yelena Masyuk. Earlier, she visited along with other HRC members the penal colony #14 where Tolokonnikova is serving her sentence.

“The hunger strike of convicted N.A. Tolokonnikova has been pre-planned, as well as the informational support in the Internet and in media were staged and coordinated by third parties. This activity was carried out, among others, by N.A. Tolokonnikova’s husband P.Y. Verzilov, by Tolokonnikova’s attorney I.V. Khrunova, and by head of Agora Interregional Human Rights Association (also HRC member – Itar-Tass) P.V. Chikov.  The visit of the HRC working group, as it appears, has been also pre-planned,” the document writes.

Meanwhile, the report notes that “in penal colony (PC) #14 of the Republic of Mordovia (as in many other female penal colonies in Russia, for example, in PC #28 in the Perm Territory that was visited by the Council’s working group in January 2013,) exists a robust voluntary-compulsory system of delay-free 12-16-hour working day provision, as well as work on Sundays”, as well as low payment rate for a 16-hour working day. As in the report by HRC member Ilya Shablinsky, it is proposed to take steps to stop labor legislation violation.

According to Masyuk’s report, Tolokonnikova refused to tell the surnames of convicts that suffered from violence in the colony, “and it is impossible to carry out an investigation”. However, the HRC member came to a conclusion that “in PC #14 are practically acting sections of discipline and order that are formed from convicts and help the colony’s administration to control the maintenance of internal order rules by imprisoned persons, although they have been abolished by a Justice Ministry’s order in 2010. Such a section in colony #14 is the third detachment, where convicted females dissatisfied with something are transferred for mentoring”.

The report also notes that the living conditions of convicts improved since the visit by HRC members to the colony in December 2012. In particular, “during this period, from December of last year, almost all residential areas have been repaired and sanitary engineering work has been carried out: partitions and doors have been installed for privacy, new sinks, toilets, bidets, showers and hot water heating elements have been also installed”.

Masyuk’s report contains a recommendation to transfer Tolokonnikova to another detachment and on a lighter work, as well as to carry out a health examination of the convict.

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