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Pussy Riot Member Suspends Hunger Strike Amid Health Complications

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova H
Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Nadezhda Tolkokonnikova vowed to resume it, though, unless her demands are met.

MOSCOW – Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolkokonnikova has suspended her nine-day hunger strike due to health complications. But she threatened to resume it if her demands are not met.

Ilya Ponomarev, a deputy of the Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, said on Twitter that the jailed feminist punk rocker suspended the hunger strike due to severe health complications.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights commissioner, was quoted by the Russian wire service Interfax as saying that Tolokonnikova suspended the hunger strike when she was promised a transfer to another prison.

Ponomarev, who was the first person to visit Tolokonnikova at her correctional facility in Mordovia, 500 kilometers southeast of Moscow, said that she still insisted on being transferred to another prison and improvement of the inmates’ treatment and was ready to resume the hunger strike unless her demands are met.

The bandmember has demanded an investigation into conditions at the prison with safety guarantees for inmates who would testify. Her hope is to bring criminal charges against the deputy head of the prison, lieutenant colonel Yuri Kupriyanov. She has said he made threats to her life, which was one of the reasons for her going on hunger strike on Sept. 23.

The hunger strike and an open letter about the conditions in the prison written by Tolokonnikova, who is serving a two-year sentence for the “punk prayer” against Russian president Vladimir Putin at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in February 2012, put the correctional institution under scrutiny.

A working group from the Russian Human Rights Council inspected the prison and found some irregularities, including overtime work imposed on the inmates.