Tolokonnikova lawyers say haven't been able to contact her for over sixty hours

The defense lawyers for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, convicted member of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot, who went on hunger strike a week ago, said they have not been able to contact her for three days.

In their address to Gennady Korniyenko, director of the Russian Federal Service for the Enforcement of Punishments, the lawyers said they have not had access to their client and have not received nay information on her state of health for more than sixty hours.

"We are asking you as the director of the Russian Federal Service for the Enforcement of Punishments to assist in giving the lawyers for Tolokonnikova meetings with her lawyers to avoid the aggravation of the current situation no the seventh day of the convict's hunger strike and in the provision to the lawyers of information on whether any psychological or other pressure is now being exerted on the convict," the statement, which was provided to Interfax by Tolokonnikova's husband Pyotr Verzilov on Sunday, says.

The statement says the lawyers have tried to get a meeting with Tolokonnikova for the past few days, but the administration of the colony has refused to organize such a meeting, citing the poor health of the convict, who, according to the colony administration, is on bed rest.

"On September 27, a phone communications operator told the lawyers that Tolokonnikova will not be taking any phone calls because they are not authorized by the administration of the penal colony," the statement says.

September 28, the lawyers again tried to get a meeting with Tolokonnikova, but the head of the colony told them that "Tolokonnikova was in such a condition that he could no allow a meeting with the convict and had to decline to provide phone conversations with her."

A lawyer for Tolokonnikova said the lawyers had filed a request with the central administration of the Russian Federal Service for the Enforcement of Punishments for the Republic of Mordovia to intervene in the situation on September 28, but the officials did not react to that request.

"If a meeting with the convict cannot be provided immediately, we are asking you to order officials from the department of the Russian Federal Service for the Enforcement of Punishments for the Republic of Mordovia to give an official response on the reasons why such a meeting cannot be organized and also order that measures be taken to enable Tolokonnikova to exercise her lawful right to phone conversations," the statement says.

The lawyers have asked the head of the Russian Federal Service for the Enforcement of Punishments to take the situation under personal control.

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