Tolokonnikova's hunger strike planned by outside forces - Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council committee has confirmed the information about violations in the Mordovia correctional facility, where Pussy Riot punk band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is serving time and asks to send inspectors there.

The Human Rights Council committee has confirmed the information about violations in the Mordovia correctional facility, where Pussy Riot punk band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is serving time and asks to send inspectors there.

Members of the Human Rights Council working group, Yelena Masyuk, Yevgeny Myslovsky and Maria Kannabikh, have gone to correctional facility No. 14 due to the hunger strike declared by Tolokonnikova.

"We suppose that the hunger strike of convict Tolokonnikova has been planned in advance and organized and coordinated from the outside, as support grows on the Internet and mass media outlets," the committee said in a report posted on the website of the Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Members of the Human Rights Council committee have concluded that Tolokonnikova's hunger strike has been initiated by the convict's husband Pyotr Verzilov, her lawyer Irina Khrunova and Chairman of the Agora association Pavel Chikov, the document said.

"Apparently, the arrival of the Human Rights Council group has been planned in advance as well," the report said.

Human Rights Council members have reached the conclusion that Tolokonnikova's demands were contradictory: on the one hand, she demands be transferred to another colony, on the other, she agreed to a transfer to another unit within the colony.

"Nadezhda demands be transferred to work in an art workshop, on the other hand, she agrees to spot work. Tolokonnikova has described in her letter many cases of violations in the correction facility regarding women convicts but named just several surnames during the meeting," the document said.

The Human Rights Council members who went to the colony said that the stories described in Tolokonnikova's letter were anonymous and it was impossible to check them.

The Human Rights Council members have proposed transfering Tolokonnikova to another unit and have advised checking on correctional facility No. 14 along with the state labor inspection and prosecutor's office as it is impossible for human rights activists to gather complete information on the state of things in the detention facility.

Human rights activists have concluded that the rights of women in the colony, where Tolokonnikova serves time, are violated and "a robust voluntarily-compulsory system exists to ensure a non-stop working day of 12 to 16 hours as well as work on Sundays at the sewing production facility."

"Discipline and order sections exist in correctional facility No. 14, though they have been technically cancelled by the Justice Ministry in 2010," the report said.

Tolokonnikova went on hunger strike on September 23, having said that she had been threatened with murder. The convict has informed the Federal Penitentiary service of the hunger strike, has complained about threats to the Investigative Committee and has reached out to a commissioner.

Meanwhile, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service press office said that the defense team and husband of Tolokonnikova has blackmailed the deputy head of the Mordovia colony with the statements surrounding threats to Tolokonnikova.

The Investigative Committee's Investigations Directorate for Mordovia has ordered a check of Tolokonnikova's statement.

On September 30 the Federal Penitentiary Service confirmed that Tolokonnikova had been transferred to an inpatient facility.

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