News October 27, 2015

Pussy Riot sue Russian Government

Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are suing the Russian Government in a European court.

The pair have cited human rights violations pertaining to their arrest over a demonstration in a Moscow cathedral in 2012.

Both women are seeking €120,000 (more than $161,000) in compensation, plus €10,000 (more than $13,000) in court fees after receiving amnesty late last year.

They served a total of 21 months in prison and pre-trial confinement, ultimately claiming that the investigation and prosecution not only violated their rights, but also amounted to torture, according to The Guardian.

Pavel Chikov, head of the human rights legal group Agora, is representing Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova after they filed a suit under the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

He says that the women did not receive a fair trial in Russia and cites that as the reason they have looked to the ECHR.

“Plus they want this case to set a precedent that Russians can speak publicly on sensitive political issues, even if this speech is not supported by majority,” Chikov told The Guardian. “This is a case about freedom of expression and fair trial first of all.”

The Guardian also notes that both women claim Russia had violated four articles pertaining to the European convention on human rights guaranteeing the rights to liberty, security, freedom of expression, a fair trial and prohibiting torture.

Should Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova win, they will also attempt to overturn their criminal conviction in the Russian courts whilst pledging to give away any compensation to human rights organisations.

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