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Pussy Riot inmate claims Russian prison took away water

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Jailed Pussy Riot punk Nadezhda Tolokonnikova on Friday accused Russian prison officers of cutting off her drinking water on the fifth day of a hunger strike — a move the prison service denies.

Tolokonnikova began a hunger strike at her penal colony in central Russia’s Mordovia region in protest at prisoners being forced to work excessive hours and being treated like “slaves.”

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In a message sent to AFP by her husband, activist Pyotr Verzilov, Tolokonnikova said that a prison guard told her he was ordered to take away all her drinking water, and then a prisoner who fulfils the functions of an attendant removed the bottles.

“He grabbed my arms and painfully squeezed my shoulders, stopping me from moving,” she said.

“At that moment, prisoner Nevecherya removed all my drinking water standing in the punishment cell in bottles.”

“Without water a person dies in a few days during a hunger strike,” she said.

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The 23-year-old mother of a young daughter is serving a two-year sentence for a punk protest in a Moscow cathedral last year.

The prison service denied her claim, saying on its website that it had replaced her cold drinking water with warm boiled water on medical advice.

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In a growing standoff, Tolokonnikova said that video camera footage would prove the first use of force against her in the penal colony.

The prison service in Mordovia region responded by posting a YouTube video titled “Tolokonnikova’s provocation”, which shows what it says is Tolokonnikova’s cell.

The prison service said the footage was filmed by a video camera fixed to a prison officer’s uniform. It said it had handed the video to law enforcement authorities.

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The video shows women prisoners in headscarves taking food into a cell. One is shown bringing out an empty water container after apparently pouring out its contents inside the cell.

A dark-haired woman can briefly be seen lying in bed.

Tolokonnikova in a letter released Monday accused her penal colony of forcing women prisoners to work up to 17-hour days in a sewing workshop.

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She also said the colony’s deputy chief had hinted she could be killed by other prisoners in revenge if they were given shorter working hours and so failed to meet targets.

The prison service said in a statement that Tolokonnikova went on hunger strike after threatening to go public on prison conditions unless she was transferred to different work.

She said in another letter published Tuesday that she had been moved to a bitterly cold isolation cell, while the prison service called it adequately comfortable.

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The video posted by the prison service can be seen on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AvUsOVk6Xk

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’

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The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.

"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.

When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.

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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting

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Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.

King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.

A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.

https://twitter.com/corinne_perkins/status/1162806565109473280

Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/sedespres/status/1162811223186006018

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