Pussy Riot appeals to human rights court


By James Barnes

08 February 2013 at 12:07 BST


Lawyers representing three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights over prison sentences handed down following a protest in a Moscow church last year.

Pussy Riot: human rights appeal

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are almost halfway through two-year terms after opposing President Vladimir Putin's links to the Russian Orthodox Church, while Yekaterina Samutsevich has already been released from jail on appeal with a suspended sentence after being convicted of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’,  reports the Digital Spy web site.

Key mechanism

One of the lawyers, Pavel Chikov from Russian human rights organisation Agora, said that the convictions had violated the group’s right to freedom of speech, a fair trial and liberty. He also claimed that that the women were treated badly while in custody, including being deprivated of sleep and food.
Mr Chikov said yesterday: ‘I think they will be released from prison before the tribunal ruling. But the European Court is not the key mechanism to seek their prompt release. It is important to bring in justice, declare them not guilty and, eventually, acquit them.’

Compensation

Ms Tolokonnikova and Ms Alyokhina are not due to be released until March 2014, and it remains unclear whether the tribunal will announce its ruling before then.
Mr Chikov also claimed that the women were only given limited time with defence lawyers, and a tribunal ruling in favour of Pussy Riot could lead to compensation.

 
   
 
 
 

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