Jailed Pussy Riot Band Member on Hunger Strike To Protest ‘Slave-Like’ Conditions

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 23 2013 7:09 PM

Jailed Pussy Riot Band Member on Hunger Strike to Protest "Slave-Like" Conditions

181672723
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the jailed members of the all-girl punk band 'Pussy Riot,' standing in the defendant's cage in a Russian court.

Photo by MAKSIM BLINOV/AFP/Getty Images

A jailed member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot said she was going on hunger strike starting Monday to protest prisoner treatment in her Russian penal colony. In a letter, posted by the Guardian, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova writes: “I will not remain silent, resigned to watch as my fellow prisoners collapse under the strain of slavery-like conditions.”

The band Pussy Riot shot to global notoriety in 2011 for staging “punk protests” in brightly colored balaclavas in a Moscow cathedral, protesting the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In August 2012, Tolokonnikova was sentenced to two years in prison for the protest, along with two other members of the band.

Advertisement

Here's a video of the protest that landed the group in jail:

Tolokonnikova says inmates at the colony are forced to work up to 17 hours a day and get no more than four hours of sleep. Reuters describes the system used by prison officials at the colony, where senior inmates enforce order, as “reminiscent of Soviet-era Gulag forced labor camps.” Tolokonnikova and fellow band member Maria Alyokhina are scheduled to be released in March and a third band member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was freed on appeal last year, according to Rolling Stone.

 

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.