Target: Russian President Vladimir Putin
Goal: Disclose location of a prominent Russian activist who disappeared during a prison transfer.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, (also called Nadya Tolokno) is a Russian political activist who has prominently opposed President Vladimir Putin and participated in public art projects to stir controversy against his strict and hateful regime. She was arrested on August 17, 2012 for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” when her anti-Putinist political band Pussy Riot performed in a Catholic church to the shock of the congregation. Amnesty International has named Nadya a prisoner of conscience, after Russian authorities were overly severe with Nadya and her fellow activists.
On October 21, 2013, Nadya was allegedly transferred from a prison in Mordovia to a prison in the Chelyabinsk region. Even though her family must be notified of her new location ten days after the transfer, they have not heard from her and have no idea where she could be. Prison officials refuse to grant her family access to information about her position or wellbeing.
Nadya is twenty-three years old with a husband and a young child who do not know where she could be. Her father is anxious that she is sick or has been beaten. This treatment of a political prisoner goes against national protocol. Russia has a generally dismal record of treating prisoners inhumanely, and this time it is no different.
Please sign this petition to demand that Vladimir Putin order prison officials to release information about where Nadya Tolokno is being held.
Dear President Vladimir Putin,
In your opinion column published in the New York Times, you claim to support a “return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement” in foreign policy. However, you seem to have a hypocritical approach to your domestic affairs. Your treatment of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is far from civilized. Not only was she arrested and tried for using her free speech, but now she has been essentially kidnapped and held from her family for political reasons. Her family has not heard from her for over ten days after an alleged prison transfer, in direct opposition to the law which states that her family members must be notified of her position and wellbeing.
The strength of a leader is measured by his fair and diplomatic treatment of even those who oppose him. Your regime has proven to be nothing more than a police state, run by an insecure bully. Immediately order prison officials to release all information about Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to her family and the press, in accordance with the law. It is your responsibility as a world leader to uphold freedom and the human rights of your people.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Denis Bochkarov via Wikimedia Commons