Jailed Pussy Riot mem­ber hos­pi­tal­ized for ex­haus­tion

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

MOSCOW — A jailed mem­ber of the Pussy Riot fem­i­nist punk band has been hos­pi­tal­ized af­ter com­plain­ing of headaches and suf­fer­ing from over­work at a prison colony known for its tough con­di­tions, her lawyer and a fel­low band mem­ber said Fri­day.

Nadezhda Tolokon­nikova has suf­fered from headaches since last spring and her con­di­tion has wors­ened since Oc­to­ber when she was sent to a prison colony to serve her two-year sen­tence for the band’s ir­rev­er­ent protest against Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathe­dral, her lawyer Irina Khrunova said.

She sent a re­quest to prison au­thor­i­ties in De­cem­ber to ad­mit Tolokon­nikova in or­der to per­form a de­tailed med­i­cal check, and she was hos­pi­tal­ized on Jan. 24, the lawyer said.

Yeka­te­rina Sa­mut­se­vich, a band mem­ber who also was sen­tenced to two years in Au­gust but later re­leased on ap­peal, added that Tolokon­nikova feels ex­hausted af­ter work­ing long hours with lit­tle sleep.

“They don’t al­low her to have any rest; she works nearly round the clock,” Sa­mut­se­vich told in­de­pen­dent Rain TV on Fri­day.

In an in­ter­view pub­lished last week in the in­de­pen­dent No­vaya Gazeta news­pa­per, Tolokon­nikova sto­ically de­scribed harsh prison con­di­tions, say­ing she doesn’t ex­pect any le­niency.

Tolokon­nikova, who works at a sewing ma­chine like most fe­male pris­on­ers in Rus­sia’s prison colonies, told the pa­per that she has had her fin­gers punc­tured by the nee­dle but has picked up speed and ex­pe­ri­ence and can now meet her quota of mak­ing lin­ing for 320 jack­ets a day. Like other pris­on­ers, she bathes once a week and uses cold water to wash the rest of the week.

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