Two convicted members of the Pussy Riot punk group sentenced to prison for a “punk prayer” in a Moscow cathedral have arrived at two different penal colonies to serve their sentences, their lawyer, Violetta Volkova, said on Wednesday.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will serve her two-year prison sentence in the Volga area Republic of Mordovia and Maria Alyokhina - in the Urals city of Perm.
“This information is not official, no official information is available to us so far. I learned it from my sources, they had checked it,” Volkova said.
A spokeswoman for the Mordovia penitentiary service, Maria Khaniyeva, refused to comment on the information.
“We will not say anything until we get written permission to disclose information to the media. The administration of the colony is obliged to inform one of the inmate’s relatives on his or her choice within ten days from the moment of arrival,” she said.
Three Pussy Riot members were sentenced to two years in prison on August 17 after a court found them guilty of “hooliganism with the aim of inciting religious hatred” in a decision that drew sharp international criticism.
On October 10, a Moscow court freed group member Yekaterina Samutsevich at an appeal hearing, but ruled that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina must serve out their two-year sentences. Their request to be allowed to serve out their sentence in a Moscow detention facility was rejected in mid-October.