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

The Slatest
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

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.


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.



Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The Simpsons World App Is Here, and Nearly Perfect


“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.


The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Oct. 22 2014 4:45 PM Welcome to 13th Grade! Several Oregon high schools are offering a fifth year of high school. Every district should consider it.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.