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Pussy Riot punk being sent to Siberian camp

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Jailed Pussy Riot punk Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is being moved to a prison camp in Siberia several thousand kilometres from Moscow, Russia's rights ombudsman said Tuesday.

Tolokonnikova, who is serving a two-year sentence in a penal colony for a protest against President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral, has not been seen by supporters since October 22.

The Russian prison service announced last month that it was moving her to a new penal colony after she held a hunger strike to demand a transfer for the last months of her sentence, which ends in March.

She had complained in an open letter of slave labour conditions and receiving a death threat from a senior prison official at her penal colony in the central Russian region of Mordovia.

"The Russian prison service has decided to convoy Tolokonnikova to the central (Siberian) Krasnoyarsk region," the press service of ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said in the first official confirmation of her destination.

It added that this decision was taken because 24-year-old Tolokonnikova is formally registered as living in the city of Norilsk, in the far north of the Krasnoyarsk region.

It quoted the prison service as saying the move "would promote her resocialisation".

Her husband and young daughter live in Moscow, however.

The move to a remote Siberian region appears to be a punishment for Tolokonnikova, since it is much further from Moscow than the previous location.

The regional capital Krasnoyarsk is around 3,000 kilometres (2,000 miles) from the Russian capital.

Tolokonnikova's husband Pyotr Verzilov said earlier this month that he heard from a reliable source that Tolokonnikova was being moved to a penal colony around 300 kilometres (185 miles) from Krasnoyarsk.

The prison service is only obliged to inform relatives within 10 days after a prisoner is moved to a new location.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131112/pussy-riot-punk-being-sent-siberian-camp