Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to serve sentences in Russia's "harshest camps"

The start of October may have seen Yekaterina Samutsevich, one of the three imprisoned members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, freed on appeal, but things aren’t looking up for the other two. 

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been sent to remote prison camps – described by Pussy Riot’s Twitter account as “the harshest camps of all the possible choices”. Alyokhina will serve her two-year term at a women’s camp in Perm, described by The Guardian as a “a Siberian region notorious for some of the Soviet Union’s harshest camps.”  Tolokonnikova, meanwhile, has been sent to Mordovia – her term is also two years in length.

“Confusion reigned on Monday as relatives and lawyers tried to assess exactly where the women were sent”, continues The Guardian. “Both Perm and Mordovia host several prison camps, some of which comprised the Soviet-era gulag system. Prison authorities declined to comment on the women’s whereabouts.”

Both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova had petitioned to serve their sentences in Moscow, where they would be closer to their children.

The three Pussy Riot members were sentenced earlier this year, having been arrested in February for performing an anti-Putin protest at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Russian president Vladimir Putin has recently been quoted as claiming that the group “got what they asked for”.

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