Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at the Moscow Tagansky District Court
|Native name||Надежда Андреевна Толоконникова|
November 7, 1989 |
Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Soviet Union
|Other names||Nadya Tolokno (Надя Толокно)|
|Education||Moscow State University|
|Occupation||Student, Political Activist, Performance Artist|
|Years active||2008 to present|
|Organization||Voina, Pussy Riot|
|Known for||Provocative political protests; imprisonment for hooliganism|
|Criminal charge||Hooliganism motivated by religious hatred|
|Criminal penalty||2 years imprisonment|
|Criminal status||convicted on August 17, 2012, due for release March 2014|
|Children||Gera (b. 2008)|
|Awards||LennonOno Grant for Peace|
Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova (Russian: Наде́жда Андре́евна Толоко́нникова; born November 7, 1989), nicknamed "Nadya Tolokno" (Надя Толокно), is a Russian conceptual artist and political activist. She is a member of the anti-Putinist punk rock group Pussy Riot, and has a history of political activism with the street-art group Voina. On August 17, 2012, she was convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years imprisonment. She has been recognized as a political prisoner by the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners. Amnesty International named her a prisoner of conscience due to "the severity of the response of the Russian authorities."
Tolokonnikova is a philosophy student at Moscow State University. She is married to Pyotr Verzilov and has a daughter. She has Canadian permanent resident status and her husband is a dual citizen of Canada and Russia.
Performances and protests
She also took part in a series of actions, Operation Kiss Garbage, from January through March 2011. This project comprised female members’ kissing policewomen in Moscow metro stations and on the streets.
Arrest and indictment
Following the February 21, 2012, "Punk Prayer" incident. a criminal case was opened on February 26, against the band members who had participated. On March 3, Tolokonnikova and another alleged members of Pussy Riot, were arrested by the Russian authorities and accused of hooliganism. Both women at first denied being members of the group and started a hunger strike in protest against being held in jail away from their young children. They were held without bail and were formally charged on June 4, with the indictment running to 2,800 pages.
Court case and imprisonment
Tolokonnikova was serving the remainder of her two-year sentence in the IK-14 women's penal colony in the Republic of Mordovia. On 23 September 2013 she went on hunger strike over prison conditions and alleged threats against her life made by prison staff. Her letter on the conditions of the women in the penal colony asserts that the women have no rights. The prisoners must work 16-17 hours and sleep 3-4 hours a day; they have a day-off every 8th week. If they complain, they are punished. If they complain over the treatment of other prisoners, they are punished even harder. Collective punishment is frequent but the prisoners may also be beaten up with particular focus on hitting the kidneys. Another punishment consists of keeping a prisoner outdoor in Russian cold without sufficient clothing. Most of what she reports is confirmed from other sources.
In late September 2013, Tolokonnikova was hospitalised after going without food for a week. She was treated in the prison's medical ward, and authorities didn't release more specific details.
On October 21, 2013, she was transferred to another prison; her whereabouts remained unknown for several weeks.On November 5, 2013, it was reported that Tolokonnikova had been transfered to IK-50, a prison located near Nizhny Ingash, approximately 300 kilometres from Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.On Friday, November 15, 2013, she was finally able to communicate with her husband through a video call from the prison hospital, where she may end up serving what remains of her two-year prison term.
- "Дело группы Pussy Riot". March 23, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21.
- John Bowman (August 17, 2012). "UPDATE: Should Canada intervene in the Pussy Riot case?". CBC. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21.
- "Russia: Release punk singers held after performance in church". Amnesty International. April 3, 2012. Archived from the original on 23 Jul 2012.
- "Троих предполагаемых участниц Pussy Riot признали политзаключенными" [Three of the alleged participants of Pussy Riot recognized as political prisoners]. Росбалт (in Russian). March 25, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Google translation.
- Miriam Elder (August 8, 2012). "Pussy Riot profile: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova: Philosophy student Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, has been described as the evil genius behind Pussy Riot". The Guardian (Moscow). Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- Thomas Peter. "Witness to Pussy Riot's activist beginnings". Reuters, August 16, 2012. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012.
- Forrest Muelrath. "Voina, Art Insurrectionists". Bombsite.com, January 10, 2011. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012.
- Christian Riveros-Faune. "The New Realism". Art in America Magazine, June 1, 2012. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012.
- Miriam Elder. "Radical Russian art group shows love for the police, Voina showers female police officers with kisses". Global Post, March 1, 2011. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012.
- "Pussy Riot Declare Hunger Strike". RIA Novosti. March 5, 2012. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
- "Police Open Criminal Probe into 'Punk Prayer' at Christ the Savior Cathedral". RIA Novosti. February 26, 2012. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
- "Russian punk band Pussy Riot go on hunger strike in Moscow". The Week. March 6, 2012. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- "Участниц Pussy Riot официально обвинили в хулиганстве по мотивам религиозной ненависти ("Pussy Riot members officially charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred")" (in Russian). rosbalt.ru. June 4, 2012. Archived from the original on October 28, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- "Pussy Riot's Canadian Connection". CBC. May 17, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21.
- "Алехиной разрешат мультики, а Толоконниковой запретят кипятильники ("Alyokhina to have access to cartoons, Tolokonnikova to be denied water heaters")" (in Russian). Moskovsky Komsomolets. October 23, 2012. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
- "Pussy Riot member declares hunger strike, slams prison conditions". Moscow News. September 23, 2013. Archived from the original on September 24, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
- Tolokonnikova, Nadezhda (September 23, 2013). "Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova: Why I have gone on hunger strike". The Guardian. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
- Jailed Pussy Riot Member Starts Hunger Strike In Russia. 23 Sep 2013, by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
- Tolokonnikova, Nadezhda (September 23, 2013). "Вы теперь всегда будете наказаны". Lenta.ru. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
- The Russian Reader 27/9-2013: http://therussianreader.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/tolokonnikova-nothing-personal/
- ITAR-TASS 30/9-2013: Tolokonnikova’s report on abuse in colony partly confirmed
- Rights in Russia: Member of Human Rights Council says Tolokonnikova’s complaints based on facts
- Pussy Riot inmate claims Russian prison took away water. 25 Sep 2013 by Agence France-Presse. The Raw Story.
- Tolokonnikova Calls 'Safe Cell' Solitary Confinement. 25 Sep 2013, by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
- Pussy Riot Member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Transferred To Prison Hospital On 5th Day Of Hunger Strike. 27 Sep 2013, by Hunter Stuart. The Huffington Post.
- Russia moves Pussy Riot inmate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to medical unit. 28 Sep 2013 by AFP. Herald Sun.
- Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Jailed Pussy Riot Member, Ends Hunger Strike. 1 Oct 2013, by Laura Mills. The Huffington Post
- Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, jailed Pussy Riot member, halts hunger strike. 3 Oct 2013, by Phil Black. CNN article and video.
- Martins, Chris. "Imprisoned Pussy Riot Member Disappears". SPIN. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Miriam Elder. "Jailed Pussy Riot Member Missing Following Prison Transfer". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- BBC. "Jailed Pussy Riot singer 'found in hospital'". Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Media related to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at Wikimedia Commons