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article imageJailed Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova disappears

By Lesley Lanir     Nov 3, 2013 in World
Moscow - Nadya Tolokonnikova, one of the Pussy Riot members convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and sentenced to two years in jail, has disappeared after being transferred from a prison in Mordovia on October 21.
According to Al Jazeera, jailed Pussy Riot member, Nadya Tolokonnikova, incarcerated in the penal colony, IK-14, in Yavas, Zubovo-Polyansky District, Mordovia — several hundred kilometers east of Moscow — has been moved out of the prison and transferred to a "Soviet style Gulag system" and at present cannot be located by her family. Family members say they believe the Russian authorities are trying to break down Tolokonnikova, who is already physically weak after staging two hunger strikes in protest of the prison's appalling "slave-like" working, living conditions and "alleged threats against her life made by prison staff."
Al Jazeera contacted her husband, Russian-Canadian artist, Pyotr Verzilov, Saturday night, and report him as saying that "Nadya was being deliberately cut off from the outside world and he was seriously worried."
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Russian protests at Yakimanka Street and Bolotnaya Square  Moscow).
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Russian protests at Yakimanka Street and Bolotnaya Square, Moscow).
Денис Бочкарев / Denis Bochkarev
Twenty-three-year old Nadya Tolokonnikova, was arrested and charged in March 2012 along with fellow Pussy Riot band member Maria Alyokhina with "premeditated hooliganism performed by organized group of people motivated by religious hatred or hostility" after staging a Pussy Riot punk protest in Moscow's main cathedral. She was sentenced to two years in prison.
The conviction of members of Pussy Riot, a Russian feminist punk rock protest group, has raised huge international interest resulting in protests against the treatment and incarceration of its members and support for their release has come from celebrities, international artists, politicians, and musicians world-wide including: Bono, Sting, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Madonna and Stephen Fry. In June, a documentary, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, was released. Since Tolokonnikova is a Canadian permanent resident, it was also thought that the Canadian authorities may attempt to intervene.
Digital journalists have made background reports about the events surrounding the arrest, trials and prison conditions leading up to this latest development.
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