BETTER LATE THAN NEVER?

Top Russian Official: Pussy Riot Was Right About Slave Labor at Women’s Prison

Five years after a lead member of Pussy Riot alleged that Russian prisons employed slave labor, a top prison official has acknowledged that yes, women prisoners were apparently being treated as slaves in at least one facility. Valery Maximenko, the deputy chief of Russia’s Federal Prison Service, gave credit to Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova on Monday in announcing that a top prison official is facing criminal charges for turning female inmates into slaves. Tolokonnikova, who was imprisoned in a women’s penal colony in Mordovia for Pussy Riot’s “anti-Putin prayer” in 2012, had alleged in 2013 that the prison’s deputy warden, Yury Kupriyanov, turned the inmates into slaves and had personally threatened to kill her. Prison officials now say that while earlier inspections of the prison turned up no proof of her claims, investigators managed to install hidden cameras in the facility that ultimately verified the allegations and showed women were being forced to make products for commercial firms “from 7 in the morning to midnight.” “By all appearances, Tolokonnikova was right,” Maximova told Russia’s TASS news agency. Kupriyanov has been axed from his post and now faces criminal charges, he said.