Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Pussy Riot case goes to Strasbourg

The incarceration of members of Pussy Riot last year sparked protests across the world

Lawyers for three members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot are contesting their convictions in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Natalia Tolokonnikova were sentenced to two years in prison for their irreverent "punk prayer" in Moscow's main cathedral last February against Vladimir Putin's return to Russian presidency.

Ms Samutsevich was later released on appeal.

The complaint filed on Wednesday alleges that the group's conviction violates four articles of the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing freedom of speech, the right to liberty and security, the prohibition of torture and the right to a fair trial.

The conviction on charges of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" has sparked global outrage, drawing attention to Russia's intolerance of dissent under Mr Putin.