Russia: Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s location unknown

English PEN shares PEN International’s grave concern for the well-being of imprisoned Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, whose current whereabouts have not been disclosed by the Russian authorities

On 22 October 2013, Nadezhda was moved from a penal colony where she was serving a two-year prison sentence and it is believed that she is in transit to – or has already arrived at – an (as yet) unknown prison. Neither her husband nor her lawyer has had any contact with her for three weeks. Tolokonnikova’s husband has said that an official in the prison administration informed him of a possible move to a prison colony in Siberia, but this has not been confirmed officially

Russia’s refusal to disclose Tolokonnikova’s whereabouts is a direction violation of the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which state that prisoners should be allowed regular communication with family and friends and that family members must be notified when a prisoner is transferred from one prison to another.

For further information on Pussy Riot’s case and PEN’s campaign for their release, please visit the PEN International website.

Take Action

  • Write to President Vladimir Putin and to the Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov demanding that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s husband and family be informed of her whereabouts;
  • Tweet President Putin directly, asking him to reveal Tolokonnikova’s location. Use the Twitter hashtag: #WhereIsNadezhdaTolokonnikova?
  • Support Pussy Riot by buying a copy of our anthology Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot, half of the proceeds of which go directly to the group. Alternatively, donate to the Voice Project’s Pussy Riot support fund.

Addresses:

President Vladimir Putin,
23, Ilyinka Street
Moscow, 1031132
Twitter: @KremlinRussia_E  (don’t forget to copy in PEN International @pen_int)

Alexander Konovalov
Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation
14, Ilyinka Street,
Moscow, 119991

His Excellency Dr Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko
Embassy of the Russian Federation
6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens
London
W8 4QP
Fax: 020 7727 8625

A sample letter is provided below but it is always better if you put the appeal in your own words.

[ecampaign ‘to= press@rusemb.org.uk‘ subject=”Free Pussy Riot”]

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to express my grave concern for imprisoned Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

According to PEN’s information, on 22 October 2013 Tolokonnikova was moved from the penal colony where she was serving a two-year prison sentence on charges of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’. It is believed that she is in transit to – or has already arrived at – an (as yet) unknown prison. However, neither her husband nor her lawyer has had any contact with her for three weeks, and her current whereabouts have not been disclosed by the Russian authorities. Tolokonnikova’s husband has said that an official in the prison administration informed him of a possible move to a prison colony in Siberia, but this has not been confirmed officially.

Russia’s refusal to disclose Tolokonnikova’s whereabouts is a direction violation of the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners which state that prisoners should be allowed regular communication with family and friends and that family members must be notified when a prisoner is transferred from one prison to another. I am therefore calling on the Russian authorities to inform Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s husband and family of her whereabouts immediately.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely,

[/ecampaign]

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

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