General News

Jailed Russian punk star hospitalised

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Sep 29, 2013 | 1:21pm EDT

Imprisoned Russian punk star Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been hospitalised behind bars, days after embarking on a hunger strike. The Pussy Riot rocker began refusing all food last Monday (23Sep13) in an effort to protest conditions she had allegedly been subjected to at the Mordovia prison colony, which included claims of abuse from staff and reports that inmates were being used by officials as "slave labour". Tolokonnikova was placed in an isolation unit for her own safety following her complaints, but on Friday (27Sep13), doctors moved her to the jail's medical ward, according to local news reports. Specific details about what the 23 year old is being treated for have yet to be revealed. Her hospitalisation occurred hours after she was dealt a double blow on Friday when authorities threw out her bid to slash her two-year sentence and refused her request to be transferred to another incarceration facility. Tolokonnikova and two fellow Pussy Riot bandmates - Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich - were jailed in 2012 amid uproar over a protest song voicing their opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church. Samutsevich was freed in October (12) when her sentence was commuted, and Alekhina will learn the outcome of her bid for early release next month (Oct13). If it is rejected, she and Tolokonnikova will not be eligible for release until March (14).

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