Tolokonnikova's husband says was denied meeting with wife due to her poor health

Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a convicted member of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot, has been denied a visit with his wife in hospital and is being denied a phone conversation with her.

Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a convicted member of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot, has been denied a visit with his wife in hospital and is being denied a phone conversation with her.

"We are now in the office of the head of Hospital 21, where Nadezhda was transferred from Penal Colony 14. The head of the hospital told us he is officially denying us a meeting with Tolokonnikova," Verzilov told Interfax on Monday.

The head of the hospital said this decision has been made due to Tolokonnikova's poor health, Verzilov said.

"He [the head of the hospital] says Nadya's condition is so bad that he won't allow her lawyers and husband to be there and talk to her," Verzilov said.

Verzilov said this development exacerbates the current situation because he and Tolokonnikova's lawyers have not had any information about her condition for over 85 hours.

"In addition, the decision to allow a phone conversation with Nadezhda, which was scheduled for this morning, was rescinded literally ten minutes ago," he said.

Verzilov called the situation with Tolokonnikova a blockade and blamed the administration of the hospital for it.

"We, on our part, will continue seeking a meeting with Nadezhda and we will take all possible measures, including procedural measures, to get a meeting with Tolokonnikova," Verzilov said.

In the meantime, Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin believes Tolokonnikova should think about stopping her hunger strike and that the woman should be transferred to a different colony.

"I am just asking Tolokonnikova to stop her hunger strike This measure will not lead to anything," Lukin told Interfax on Monday.

"Both parties should demonstrate reason, self-restraint, and reserve. The best thing to do in this situation is for Tolokonnikova to stop her hunger strike and be transferred to a different colony," Lukin said.

"If Tolokonnikova stays in this colony and something happens to her, the consequences will be bad for the administration of the colony, too," he said.

On September 23, Tolokonnikova went on hunger strike, saying she had received death threats. The Investigations Department of the Investigations Committee for Mordovia ordered a probe into the information presented in her statement.

On September 29, the defense lawyers for Tolokonnikova said they had not been able to contact her for three days. Tolokonnikova's husband Pyotr Verzilov later said his wife had been transferred from the colony to a hospital.

The Federal Service for the Enforcement of Punishments confirmed Tolokonnikova's transfer to a hospital on September 30.

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