Imprisoned Russian punk star Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been placed in isolation for her own safety after complaining about abuse allegedly suffered at the hands of jail staff and other inmates.

The Pussy Riot rocker embarked on a hunger strike on Monday (23Sep13) to protest claims she had been improperly treated behind bars. She also hit out at bosses of the female detention centre in Mordovia, accusing them of exploiting prisoners for "slave labour".

As a result of the abuse complaint, she has now been moved away from other criminals.

A prison spokesman says, "Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been placed in a so-called safe place in the colony. It is not a punishment cell."

The musician's lawyer, Irina Khrunova, has confirmed the move is solely for Tolokonnikova's own safety.

The rocker was sentenced to serve two years behind bars last year (Aug12), alongside bandmates Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina after they were convicted on hooliganism charges for performing a protest song in a Moscow church.

Samutsevich was freed last October (12) when her two-year sentence was commuted. Tolokonnikova and Alekhina are expected to be released in March (14).