Tolokonnikova is serving a two-year sentence for “hooliganism” after participating in an anti-Putin, anti-clerical performance (See video above) in a Moscow cathedral last year.
In an open letter to The Guardian, Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova announced that she will begin a hunger strike to protest conditions at Penal Colony No. 14 in Mordovia, where she is imprisoned. Tolokonnikova documents brutal abuses at the prison camp, including 17-hour workdays, constant beatings, and death threats from a camp administrator.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has written a long letter detailing life inside prison colony No 14 in the Russian region of Mordovia, revealing appalling conditions reminiscent of the Soviet Gulag system.
As part of her punishment she has to sew police uniforms, and she writes in her statement that all the prisoners in her sewing division are expected to work 16 or 17 hours a day, starting at 7.30am and not finishing until after midnight.
"In the best case scenario we get four hours of sleep per night," writes Tolokonnikova. "We get a day off once every six weeks. Almost all Sundays are work days. Prisoners are forced to write requests to work on weekends saying it is their own voluntary decision."
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova writes:
"Beginning Monday, 23 September, I am going on hunger strike. This is an extreme method, but I am convinced that it is my only way out of my current situation.