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Russia: Prison where Pussy Riot member went on strike investigated

Nov. 13, 2013 at 5:14 PM

MOSCOW, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- An investigation is under way of the penal colony where Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova went on a protest hunger strike, officials said Wednesday.

The announcement is a change from the government's earlier stance on Tolokonnikova's charges about conditions in the Mordovia camp, RIA Novosti reported. She said the camp's inmates are held under abominable conditions and accused the deputy warden of trying to kill her.

Tolokonnikova was removed from the camp. Authorities did not immediately release her whereabouts, prompting concern from her supporters and relatives.

Officials have now said she has been transferred to a prison in Krasnoyarsk, the Siberian district she originally came from. An official in the region said Wednesday she has not arrived at any of the prisons there, however.

Three members of Pussy Riot, a protest punk rock group, were convicted of hooliganism inspired by religious hatred for performing in front of the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Moscow.

Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, 26, are scheduled to be released in March after completing two-year sentences, while the third woman was spared prison.

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