Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina & Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are planning to sue the Russian Government over an unfair trial and inhumane treatment during their imprisonment.
The lawsuit, which has been taken up by the European Court of Human Rights, stems from their 2012 arrest when Pussy Riot performed “Mother Of God, Drive Putin Out!” outside the Christ the Savior cathedral. The girls are demanding that the Russian Government must pay them $161,000 dollars each, plus legal fees of $13,437. The Human Rights legal group Agora claim that Russia has violated several articles of the European convention on Human Rights, specifically “freedom of expression, liberty and security and a fair trial, and prohibiting torture.” Also it has been claimed that the trails were overly strict and that the use of glass detainment cells and dogs was inhumane.
The Russian opposition has hit back saying that the law suit is “completely unfounded…. Deliberately provocative behavior in a place that is dedicated to the spiritual needs of believers and is a symbol of the Russian Orthodox community clearly undermines tolerance and cannot be seen as a normal, sincere exercise of the rights of the convention.” The majority of the Russian public favour this view and strongly agree that the girls should face forced labour or a large fine.
However if the girls are successful then they promise to share their reparations with various Human Rights organisations. They also hope that their victory will be a political gesture with the aim to raise awareness and show that Russians can speak freely about sensitive political issues.
Written by Alex Lewis