Pussy Riot Members Sue Russia Over Imprisonment
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 07.28.2014
To the tune of almost $175,000 each...
The two freed members of Pussy Riot are suing the Russian government over their imprisonment. As you may recall, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were two of three members of the Russian punk collective who were arrested and imprisoned after a "punk prayer" protest at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior. They were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred", and each was sentenced to two years imprisonment. The third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was freed on appeal, while the other two served until December when they were released as part of a nationwide prison amnesty.
According to The Guardian, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina are seeking ˆ120,000 each in compensation, as well as ˆ10,000 in court fees. That equates to just under $175,000 total for each of them. They're being represented by human rights legal group Agora, the head of whom commented on the suit by saying, "They didn't get fair trial here in Russia so they want to get it finally in the European court of human rights. 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. This is a case about freedom of expression and fair trial first of all."
Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina have continued their political activism since their release, including starting a prisoner's rights group and more.