Pussy Riot member hospitalised

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s husband says she’s been admitted to hospital after going on a hunger strike.

Members of the all-girl punk band "Pussy Riot" Yekaterina Samutsevich (L), Maria Alyokhina (C) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (R) sit in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow. Picture: AFP.

MOSCOW - A jailed member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot was hospitalised on Friday after going on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions, her husband said, but her condition was not clear.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was admitted to the hospital at the prison where she is serving a two-year term for a protest against President Vladimir Putin in Russia's main Orthodox Christian cathedral, Pyotr Verzilov said.

Verzilov said the acting head of the prison had described Tolokonnikova's condition as "horrible" but had given no further details. He also said prison officials would not show him documents about her transfer to hospital or allow her lawyers to visit.

The administration of the prison could not immediately be reached for comment, and prison service employees in the remote Mordovia region declined to comment.

Tolokonnikova, 23, announced on Monday that she was starting a hunger strike to protest against "slave labour" at Corrective Colony No. 14, where she is serving her sentence, and that she had received a death threat from a senior prison official.

She said inmates were forced to work up to 17 hours a day, deprived of sleep and subjected to collective punishment and violence from senior inmates enforcing order in a system reminiscent of the Soviet-era Gulag forced labour camps.

Prison authorities dismissed her accusations that the jail is run in violation of Russian law and human rights standards.