"The two members of the Russian band Pussy Riot still behind bars have reportedly been sent to notoriously harsh prison camps to finish out their two-year terms. According to supporters, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are being placed in penal colonies known for having the worst conditions of all the possible facilities where they could have been jailed. Their prison is said to have insufficient medical supplies and no hot water despite subzero temperatures."
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L) and Maria Alyokhina, members of female punk band “Pussy Riot”, look out from the defendent’s cell in a courtroom in Moscow July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Artist Pyotr Pavlensky, a supporter of jailed members of female punk band “Pussy Riot”, looks on with his mouth sewed up as he protests outside the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, July 23, 2012. A court on Monday rejected a request to call President Vladimir Putin and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to testify in the trial of three female punk rockers who derided Putin in a protest in the country’s main cathedral, their lawyer said. REUTERS/Trend Photo Agency/Handout
Three members of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk-rock band, began a hunger strike Wednesday after a Moscow court suddenly told them they must prepare their defense for trial by Monday.
Maria Alyokhina, Yakaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were taken into custody in March, after the group’s February performance of “Virgin Mary Put Putin Away,” an anti-Putin song, inside the Russian Orthodox Church’s main cathedral, asking the Virgin Mary to chase President Vladimir Putin out of power.
The three women were arrested over four months ago and have been held without bail on charges of criminal hooliganism — which carry a possible seven-year prison sentence. Two other female members of the band have avoided arrest thus far."
Members of the female punk group Pussy Riot perform during a concert by US rock group Faith No More in Moscow July 2, 2012. According to local media more than a hundred Russian artists and musicians have signed a letter addressed to state authorities to free and stop court procedures against three jailed members of Pussy Riot feminist punk-rock group, accused of hooliganism after storming Moscow’s central cathedral with a song against Vladimir Putin in February. The women, who face up to 7 years in prison, will appear in court on Wednesday. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin