Pussy Riot Appeal Conviction at European Court of Human Rights

World | February 7, 2013, Thursday // 14:24|  views

A file photograph dated 10 October 2012 shows Russian feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot members Yekaterina Samutsevich (L), Maria Alyokhina (C) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (R) sitting in a glass-walled cage in a court room before the beginning of a court

Pussy Riot members, who were sentenced to two years of imprisonment for staging a protest in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral last year, are contesting their convictions in the European Court of Human Rights.

The complaint by the three members of the feminist punk group asks that Russia be found guilty of violating their rights to freedom of expression, a fair trial, and to be treated with dignity, according to reports of the Kommersant newspaper.

The complaint is 55-pages long with 300 pages of additional materials.

In February 2012, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich performed a "punk-style" prayer at the altar of the Christ the Savior Cathedral, begging the Virgin Mary to chase Putin out of power.

In August, the three were sentenced to two years of imprisonment for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

Samutsevich was subsequently released on appeal.

Head of the legal service of the Moscow Patriarch Office Ksenia Chernega, as cited by Kommersant, claimed that the Strasbourg-based court was hardly likely to come up with a positive statement on Pussy Riot's case, saying that the freedom of expression was not an absolute right and could be restricted "to protect certain values."

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Tags: Pussy Riot, European Court of Human Rights, punk-rock, prayer


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