Pussy Riot Ask to Stay Detained...Out of Fear of Being Sent Somewhere Worse

The three members of Pussy Riot who are currently imprisoned (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich) are fighting against being relocated from Moscow to a remote penal colony somewhere hundreds of miles away.  There’s a possibility of the three women being set free on October 1 when they’ll head back to court to find out if their two year prison sentence has been repealed.  The women don’t seem to think this is a likely outcome considering the government is still upset with their past brazenness.  All three have written to administrators at the Moscow facility they’re currently housed at requesting to stay there instead of being transferred to a faraway prison (a specific location hasn’t been mentioned).

They fear for their safety in the case of being sent somewhere else, as they have received threatening messages from prison guards.  Basically, they could stay in the Moscow facility, which isn’t so great, or be sent somewhere much, much worse.  One of Pussy Riot’s lawyers, Violetta Volkova, stated, “We have been promised that the colonies ‘would be prepared’ to receive our clients. There is only one reading of it: their lives are in danger.”  

The jails in the country are also said to have violent hazing rituals, and the three women have mentioned fearing rape and murder.  There’s also the continued pressure of being asked to reveal the names of the other Pussy Riot members that the Russian police are still looking for (two of whom have fled Russia).  

However, others say that the women don’t need to worry if they are transferred, as most of the female prisoners are well aware of Pussy Riot due to the large amount of publicity and admire them for their braveness in speaking out.

If they were able to stay at the Moscow pre-trial facility, the two members’ children would not have to travel for days just to visit their mothers (Alyokhina has a 6-year-old son and Tolokonnikova a 4-year-old daughter).  Considering they’ve been detained and apart from their children for quite some time now, this seems like a completely reasonable and logical request.  

Living in the Moscow prison is no cake walk, however.  A lot of hard work is involved as well as tasks like cleaning the toilets, cooking, and serving fellow prisoners.  Asking for favors is also a bad idea, as prisons turn their backs on inmates who make deals with jail administrators, with word quickly spreading to jails throughout the country about prisoners who dared to ask for empathy.

Their lawyer stated via Twitter that supporters of the punk feminist group are set to stage rallies in more than 100 cities worldwide on October 1, when the Moscow Court is scheduled to hear the appeal of the two-year prison sentence.  Let’s hope the women are set free, or at the very least able to remain in Moscow.  

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