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Ailing Pussy Riot Member Ends Hunger Strike

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's protest against unfair conditions ends after nine days

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot
NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/GettyImages
October 1, 2013 12:15 PM ET

Jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has ended her hunger strike after nine days, according to the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, as reported by The Associated Press. On Sunday, Tolokonnikova was moved to a prison hospital, and the state service says she is currently in stable condition.

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Tolokonnikova was protesting the inhumane working conditions at the penal colony where she is currently serving a two-year sentence. She claimed that the 16-hour workdays and payment weren't in accord with Russian law; Tolokonnikova also accused a prison official of making a death threat against her.

In an open letter distributed by her husband, Tolokonnikova said, "I will do this until the administration starts obeying the law and stops treating incarcerated women like cattle."

Tolokonnikova and her Pussy Riot bandmates were found guilty of "hooliganism" and slapped with two-year sentences in August 2012 for performing what they called a "punk prayer" in protest of President Vladimir Putin inside Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. While Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich was freed on appeal last year, Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina – who went on a hunger strike this summer over unfair security conditions after she was denied the right to attend her own parole hearing – will serve time in prison until March 2014.

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