Pussy Riot punk sent to Siberian camp: official

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

Tolokonnikova, 24, who is serving a two-year sentence in a penal colony for a protest against President Vladimir Putin staged by her punk band in Moscow's main 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.

"Tolokonnikova has arrived in the Krasnoyarsk region, where she will be serving a part of her term," the Interfax news agency quoted rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin as saying.

"I have been told that, according to her wishes, she has been placed (in the penal colony's) medical ward," Lukin added without explaining why Tolokonnikova had asked to be treated by doctors.

Lukin's press service had earlier explained that Tolokonnikova had been sent to western Siberia because she is formally registered as living in the city of Norilsk, in the far north of the Krasnoyarsk region.

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 farther from Moscow than her previous location.

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

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 from Krasnoyarsk.

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

Tolokonnikova and her band-mate Maria Alyokhina are both serving time for performing an anti-Putin "punk prayer" in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral in the run-up to presidential elections last year.

A third Pussy Riot member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, had her sentence suspended after her lawyer argued she had been detained before she could take part in the protest.