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Pussy Riot Member to Spend Rest of Her Term in Prison Hospital

Tolokonnikova at a protest in 2012 Denis Bochkarev

Jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will spend the rest of her two-year prison term at a hospital in the Krasnoyarsk region, a news report said Monday.

Tolokonnikova made the request herself after she had been examined at the hospital, which is run by the prison, and the authorities will now decide what job to give her while she is there, Itar-Tass reported.

Tolokonnikova's lawyer said her client was feeling well and has joined the hospital's band.

Her sentence is set to run until March 2014, but her lawyer thinks that she could be released earlier under an amnesty planned for this month in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution.

A draft of the amnesty is currently under consideration by the State Duma and is expected to be passed on Wednesday. It could come into effect by the weekend.

Lawyers representing Tolokonnikova and fellow Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina believe their chances of being released under the amnesty are quite high because both are mothers with small children, and because they were not convicted of violent crimes.

Tolokonnikova was moved from a prison in Mordovia to one in the Krasnoyarsk region in November. She had complained about the conditions for inmates at the Mordovia facility in an open letter, but her transfer request was approved only after she had staged a hunger strike.

In August 2012, Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and a third bank member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, were convicted on hooliganism charges for their part in a performance denouncing President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral earlier that year.

They were sentenced to two years in prison each, though Samutsevich later had her sentence suspended.

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