MOSCOW, October 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russian investigators will not open a criminal case into allegations by jailed feminist punk rocker Nadezhda Tolokonnikova that a prison official threatened to kill her, a spokesperson for the Investigative Committee said Thursday.
“A decision has been taken not to open a criminal case because no crime was committed,” said Natalya Afanasieva, a spokeswoman for investigators in Russia’s republic of Mordovia, where Tolokonnikova’s former prison colony is located.
Tolokonnikova, a member of the Pussy Riot protest group, staged a nine-day hunger strike last month in protest at death threats allegedly made by the deputy director of the Mordovian prison colony, as well as against the conditions in prison, where she said inmates are forced to work 17-hour days and are regularly beaten.
Last week Tolokonnikova, 23, said she was resuming the hunger strike after she was moved from a prison hospital back to the prison colony.
Pyotr Verzilov, Tolokonnikova’s husband, said Wednesday that she had been transferred to a new prison colony in the neighboring Russian republic of Chuvashia.
Tolokonnikova was one of three members of the balaclava-clad feminist group Pussy Riot to be given a two-year jail sentence for a brief anti-Kremlin “punk prayer” that they performed on the eve of 2012 presidential elections in a Moscow cathedral.
Maria Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, who both have small children, are currently serving two-year jail terms, while a third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, had her sentence commuted to a suspended one.
Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina are both due to be released in March 2014.