Amnesty International is demanding the Russian government reveal the whereabouts of former Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who has not been seen since Oct. 22.
The activist is serving a two-year sentence for hooliganism after the punk act staged an impromptu performance in a Moscow church August 2012, demanding the removal of President Vladimir Putin. Tolokonnikova is rumoured to have been transferred to a penal colony in Siberia.
“Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has publicly complained of threats she received from prison officials,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Europe and Central Asia. “We are concerned that she now may be being punished for this and for speaking out about deplorable prison conditions.”
Although Tolokonnikova’s location hasn’t been made public, her husband, Peter Verzilov, and prison rights defender Pavel Chikov suspect she has been moved to a colony by the city of Krasnoyarsk, nearly 3,000 miles east of Moscow.
"I think it could be a kind of revenge for what she has done," said Chikov to Rolling Stone. "It will definitely cause a lot of trouble — it's definitely not the most convenient place in the Russian Federation."
The arrest of Pussy Riot and subsequent imprisonment of three of its members has outraged alternative music communities in the western world. On Sunday, members of recently-disbanded band Sonic Youth pleaded with its fans to support Amnesty International’s demands.
“She is a prisoner of conscience,” stated a posting on the group’s Facebook page. “We’re extremely concerned for her welfare.”